Wandy Rodriguez will start against the Brewers this week.

Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation Spot Shouldn't Be A Gift

The Pirates rotation spot that is going to Wandy Rodriguez this week has me concerned.  Rodriguez is going to pitch in Milwaukee after two horrid rehab starts.  The southpaw pitched for the Altoona Curve against Double-A hitters from the Erie Sea Wolves and Bowie Baysox.

It didn’t go real well.

Against Erie, he mowed down hitters early, but late (well, in the fourth inning)  he got rocked and was knocked out of the game after reaching his pitch count.  Just ten outs were recorded-three of them by strikeout.  Four hits, three walks and three earned runs from a three-run bomb.

Against Bowie, he got sixteen outs–four of them by strikeout.  Again early in the game the soft stuff was working, but late it unraveled and Rodriguez gave up two homers, three walks and seven earned runs.

It was much worse than his first start, and now he will start in Milwaukee who will probably have a few hitters that are better than the Bowie Baysox lineup.

We saw a couple quotes from Neal Huntington in the PG.  regarding the rehab starts.  Huntington mentions that sometimes a big leaguer has a different adrenaline level while the Double-A hitters treat it like their World Series.

You’d like to see everybody have success every time they step on a baseball field but different guys approach it different ways.

My question is this.  Why not tell Wandy to make another rehab start and pitch like his job is on the line?

Wandy Rodriguez will be back in the rotation, the question is how?

Wandy Rodriguez will be back in the rotation, the question is how?

It almost sounds like Wandy was working as if it was spring training.  Sure he needs to work on things, but if his approach was less than pitching for his life, I am concerned.  It’s just hard to imagine that he is completely healthy after looking at his work in Double-A.  If he was working on things as Huntington said,  he better have those things corrected by now.  So why didn’t the Bucs challenge him to make another start with a more passionate attitude, hell, even treat it like a big league start.

A spot in the Pirates rotation isn’t a gift anymore.  Why the Bucs seem to be acting like it is bothers me.  The Pirates bullpen has been used quite a bit lately and as such, strong starts will be very important against Milwaukee and New York.  We keep envisioning Wandy getting knocked out early against the Brew Crew and Jeanmar Gomez having to be used in extended duty.  It’s hard not to see that outcome right?

But look.  Brandon Cumpton is the man who earned the spot in the rotation.  Cumpton would have a better chance to give the team what it needs.   What the Pirates don’t need is a pitcher that treats opportunities like a lottery scratch-off ticket.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

  • tim m

    for some unknown reason this team thinks it can just give away games and it is mind blowing considering how mediocre their starting pitching actually is

  • Scott

    I agree-Cumpton should be in the rotation and Wandy should be kept on the DL until he can give you 5+ strong innings; if he cant get to that point he doesn’t come back up. Other than Cole this staff is a train wreck!

  • bucsws2014

    Hey, I take scratch off lottery tickets VERY seriously! Now, had you said “as seriously as the Rivers Casino winning number in the game day program”, you’d have nailed that analogy :-)

    As distasteful as it sounds, winning one of three in Miller is acceptable. And it’s more important that Frankie show up than Wandy. We have Cumpton to replace Wandy. We have nothing to replace Frankie.

    That said, if the Bucs end up in a position to have to rely on Wandy to avoid a sweep, well, that will be a depressing statement from the FO. Then again, if he wins that, Neal will be proclaimed a genius. For a day, anyway.

    • bucsws2014

      btw, IMO, I’d give Mullet a chance to start in LF tonight with Snider in RF. Just a gut feeling. Maybe even Harrison at 3b. The only guy who’s hit Peralta well is Walker. Pedro sucks against him.