PITTSBURGH - The Pirates designated struggling starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for assignment Thursday, meaning his time with the club likely has come to an end.
The move made room on the roster for starting catcher Russell Martin, who was activated from the disabled list but must serve a one-game suspension stemming from his role in the brawl with Milwaukee on Easter.
On Wednesday in his second start in coming off the disabled list, Rodriguez was rocked by the Baltimore Orioles. He allowed seven hits and six runs in 1 2⁄3 innings. Rodriguez's 6.75 ERA is the sixth highest among pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings.
Rodriguez was never the same pitcher since leaving a start June 5 last season in Atlanta with elbow soreness. Rodriguez missed the rest of the 2013 season. He returned this spring and appeared to be progressing until he suffered right knee inflammation early this season, which placed him on the disabled list.
Rodriguez's velocity has been slightly down, and he also has missed too often up in the zone. A whopping 25 percent of fly balls allowed by Rodriguez have gone for home runs.
Rodriguez is in the final year of his a contract that pays him $13 million in 2014. The Houston Astros are paying $5.5 million of Rodriguez's contract as a condition of the trade that brought him to Pittsburgh.
Brandon Cumpton or Jeff Locke figure to be candidates to replace Rodriguez in the rotation.
Right-hander Wall claimed off waivers
The Pirates claimed right-hander Josh Wall off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. He was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
To make room for Wall on the 40-man roster, righty Phil Irwin was designated for assignment. Irwin, 27, was the Pirates' 21st-round pick in 2009 and made one start in the majors last season.
Wall, 27, has made 15 outings, all in relief, over the past three seasons with the Angels and Los Angels Dodgers. His career stats include a 15.15 ERA and a 2.56 WHIP. He averages 6.6 walks and 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
In two outings this year for the Angels, Wall gave up six runs in a total of one inning (54.00 ERA).
The Dodgers' second-round pick in 2005, Wall has a 4.95 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 10 seasons in the minor leagues.
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