Apr. 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Justin Wilson (37) throws during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Wandy Rodriguez went down last night against the Diamondbacks with a tight hamstring that came up gimpy in the third inning. At the current time, we don’t have much information on how long Wandy may be out, and the hope is that he can make his next start (which would be on Saturday against the Reds). That being said, we can’t know if Wandy will make a quick recovery, or if this injury could last a little bit longer. If Wandy has to go to the DL, or if he just misses a couple starts, who should step up to take on those starts?
First off, if you want Gerrit Cole to come up now and fill in for those starts, please, cool your jets. Cole still needs some additional seasoning, so he’s out of the running in this case. Liriano is still out injured, so he’s not an option. Karstens is still insufficiently prepared. Jeanmar Gomez wasn’t particularly impressive last night in long relief, so I wouldn’t want him either.
The only two real options I see right now are Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson – and maybe Phil Irwin if the Pirates feel particularly desperate. Wilson has been very successful at AAA, so to give him an opportunity wouldn’t be much of a long shot. McFear looked deadly a few times during the spring, but had a bad start near the end of the Grapefruit League season, and then had a bad start at AAA, going only three innings and giving up three runs.
The hope, of course, is that Wandy can get back, but if he can’t, we’d like to see either Wilson or McPherson get the start. Look for more updates as “Wandy Watch 2013” continues.
Apr. 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (51) stretches during an injury delay in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports