Now Commenting On:

Wandy takes first step toward return

Pirates lefty throws bullpen session after months of resting forearm tendon strain

Wandy takes first step toward return play video for Wandy takes first step toward return

BRADENTON, Fla. -- For a veteran pitcher's first bullpen session of Spring Training, the attention on Wandy Rodriguez was ridiculous. For a guy who had not thrown a Major League pitch since June 5 and was being paid $7.5 million, it made all the sense.

And the left-hander's 28-pitch set on Friday with catcher Tony Sanchez brought him a step closer to resuming his career -- because it brought a smile to his lips.

"After my bullpen, I felt nothing. So I feel very good," Rodriguez said shortly after coming off the mound.

Admittedly, Rodriguez last summer "felt nothing" occasionally while trying to return from the forearm tendon strain he felt in the first inning in Atlanta on June 5. Ultimately, every rehab thrust was thrown to the curb by returning discomfort.

This was different. This followed months of rest, the prescribed cure for what eventually had been diagnosed as arthritis by Dr. James Andrews.

Rodriguez is on a similar, if somewhat more conservative, throwing program as the Pirates' other pitchers in camp. He will have two rest days between bullpen sessions; they rest one day. Rodriguez's next turn comes Monday.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español