Rodriguez allowed six runs, one earned, in 1 2/3 innings Wednesday, prompting the Pirates to cut ties. His ERA for the season is 6.75, and he spent a few weeks on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee.
"It's been an ongoing evaluation," general manager Neal Huntington said."The stuff, the command, the ability to get Major League hitters out — it wasn't where we felt it needed to be."
Russell Martin is taking Rodriguez's spot on the active roster, as he was activated after spending 26 days on the DL with a strained left hamstring. The club will likely send down Tony Sanchez when the need arises to recall a starting pitcher to take Rodriguez's rotation spot, likely Brandon Cumpton. Rodriguez's spot does not come up again until Monday
"Wandy has worked hard, done everything we've asked of him," Huntington said. "But we really like the guys available to step in and put us in a better position to win games. We have better options. It was time to make the move."
After spending the final four months of the 2013 season sidelined with an arthritic elbow, Rodriguez exercised the player option in the three-year contract he had signed with the Astros in January 2011. His club option changed to a player option after being traded to the Pirates in 2012.
That trade saw the Pirates send Robbie Grossman, Colton Cain and Rudy Owens, all Minor Leaguers, to the Astros. The option was for $13 million, with Houston owing $5.5 million. Releasing Rodriguez leaves the Pirates responsible for $5.25 million of the $7.5 million the team owed.
"He's healthy, and that being said, to help him find his way back at the Major League level right now, we didn't feel it'd be productive for us, it would be challenging," Hurdle said. "It now gives him every opportunity to catch on with someone else while his arm is healthy."
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