{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Wandy looks healthy on mound, in batter's box

|
Wandy looks healthy on mound, in batter's box play video for Wandy looks healthy on mound, in batter's box

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Six weeks ago, Wandy Rodriguez tentatively threw a bullpen in Pirate City. Just to be on the safe side, he did not climb the hill again until three days later -- as if everyone was afraid his left forearm would fall off.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez concluded an encouraging Spring Training in which he threw harder, broke off curves sharper, went deeper every time out and convincingly demonstrated the health of the forearm. A winter's rest quelled the arthritis that had shelved him for the final four months of last season.

And, incidentally, Rodriguez truly went deeper Tuesday -- helping ignite a 29-hit attack with a two-run homer in the second.

On the mound, the lefty went 4 2/3 innings in the Bucs' 22-5 win over Toronto, and it would've been at least a little longer had he not walked the last three men he faced, with two outs in the fifth.

"Those pitches were close. They were quality pitches," Rodriguez said, more with amusement than anything else. "I don't know why he [home-plate umpire A.J. Johnson] didn't call them."

Still, Rodriguez's longest start brought his final Grapefruit League line to 11 2/3 innings, in which he allowed four earned runs and struck out nine. The feel-good, however, was immeasurable.

"The only thing I can say is I've been able to put the ball where I wanted," Rodriguez said. "I'm very happy. When I started throwing this spring, I think a lot about my arm. Now I just go and throw and feel good."

It is making Clint Hurdle feel good. Like everyone else, the manager had to enter camp with a wait-and-see attitude.

"There are still things to polish up. He's still got a ways to go," said Hurdle, comparing the Rodriguez he saw Tuesday to the one he regularly saw prior to his June 5 injury. "He's not where he can get, but it's good to see him healthy, good to see him taking the ball."

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.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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