Two days after he threw a simulated game and appeared on the verge of returning, the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to shut down injury starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for the remainder of the 2013 season, the team announced on Saturday.
Rodriguez was initially placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 6 with tightness in his left forearm.
He continued to feel discomfort in his throwing arm during an Aug. 19 bullpen session and Aug. 22 simulated game, prompting a visit to Dr. James Andrews that revealed tendinitis in his left elbow but no structural damage to the arm.
The 34-year-old, who had made at least 25 starts in each of the past six seasons, was again cleared to begin a throwing program on Sept. 3 and even made a rehab start in Triple-A on Sept. 6.
But the Pirates opted to end Rodriguez's comeback attempt, as he continued to experience pain and discomfort, according to an official statement from general manager Neal Huntington.
From the Pirates' official press release:
The Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to shut down Wandy Rodriguez due to continuing pain and discomfort in his left forearm. Wandy has worked diligently to return to action but despite all Wandy's and our medical staffs' work and efforts, he has not been able to return to pitch without pain. We have decided that it is in Wandy's best interests and the Pirates' best interests to allow more time for the injury to the flexor tendon in his left forearm to heal and to shift our focus from a return in 2013 to having Wandy ready for Opening Day 2014.
Rodriguez, acquired from the Astros before last season's trade deadline, finishes 2013 with a 6-4 record and 3.59 ERA. His injury led Pittsburgh to call up top pitching prospect Gerrit Cole, who has boosted the team to its first winning season since 1992.