PITTSBURGH -- For the second straight year, the Pirates' attempts to keep a Rule 5 player on the big league roster for an entire season were unsuccessful.
Needing to open a roster spot for Brandon Wood, the Pirates designated Josh Rodriguez for assignment on Friday. If Rodriguez is not traded or claimed off waivers, Pittsburgh must offer him back to Cleveland for half of the $50,000 purchase price the Pirates paid the Indians to pluck Rodriguez in the Rule 5 Draft.
If the Indians choose not to take Rodriguez back -- which seems an unlikely scenario -- the infielder could remain in the Pirates' system. Pittsburgh can also attempt to work out a trade to retain Rodriguez.
"He's a young man that we would like to keep in our organization," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We knew going in that it would be a challenge and a big jump, but we wanted to take the opportunity to try and get the best feel we could for him. I think one of the best things that will come out of this experience for him is that now he's gotten to see the Major League level."
Rodriguez made the club's Opening Day roster after not having played above Triple-A. He appeared in seven games (three as a starter) and struck out eight times in 12 at-bats. Rodriguez's only hit was an infield one that came in his second at-bat Thursday. He also drove in his first big league run in that game when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
With Rodriguez off the roster, the Bucs recalled infielder Pedro Ciriaco before Friday's game, which was postponed. Ciriaco is a placeholder until Wood arrives from California.