We remember the crowd around Wandy Rodriguez when his arm got sore and he was pulled on June 5th at Turner Field, complaining of left forearm/elbow tightness after just 1/3 of an inning. Initially, it didn't seem like a big thing.
After some R&R, Rodriguez made a rehab start at Indy on June 23rd, but was shut down June 29th after a sideline session because of continued pain in his bread-and-butter arm.
The Pirates were still cautiously optimistic, and gave him a very conservative, low stress recovery program afterward. After a long rest period, the lefty played catch on flat ground on August 1st and started throwing off a mound again on August 10th, tossing nothing by fastballs and change ups. On the 21st, he threw his whole package, and told the brass that he "felt something" while pitching.
He threw a simulated game today. Clint Hurdle wouldn't tell the media how it went, but said the FO would send them a release, and that sounded ominous. It explained that Wandy felt pain in his forearm during his simulated game. He will visit surgeon Dr. James Andrews early next week. Maybe that should have been Plan A, especially as the Post Gazette's Bill Brink reported that "Rodriguez has felt pain throughout his throwing in recent weeks, but kept going."
Wandy was a solid 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 46/12 K/BB ratio in 62-2/3 IP before landing on the DL. The Bucs had hoped to have him back in time to get a rehab start or two with Indy before their season ended and have him return by mid-September. Since he was on the DL, he would have been eligible for the post-season; guess that thought is dust in the wind now.
He has a player option for next year worth $13M, which we assume he'll exercise (Houston will eat $5.5M), and the Pirates have a $2.5M buy-out, though he's likely insured if he misses the season. Depending on Doc Andrew's diagnosis, he could miss all of 2014 if he needs the knife while rehabbing at the age of 35. So it's not very good news for the Bucs tonight, for both this campaign and the upcoming season.