The Philadelphia Phillies have have added some potential depth to their starting rotation. MLB.com's Cash Kruth reports that the Phillies have signed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to a Minor League contract for 2015 with an invitation to Spring Training. Kruth says that the deal is still pending a physical and the Phillies have not commented on the deal.
Almost all costless agent signings come with a pending physical as a stipulation, but in Rodriguez's case, the exam is even more necessary as health has become a major factor for him in recent years. Rodriguez is trying to return from knee surgery that held him to pitching in only six games in April and May for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014. Rodriguez suffered inflammation in his right knee, and after a 0-2, 6.75 ERA performance, the Pirates released him on May 30. He had the surgery in late June, ending his chances of returning to the mound.
The 2014 knee surgery followed a 2013 season in which Rodriguez pitched only 12 times due to a strained forearm. That injury ended his season on June 6. He was pitching well before then: 6-4, 3.59 ERA, 1.12 WHIP.
Once the ace of the Houston Astros from 2005-2012, Rodriguez, age 36 come January 18, has a career record of 91-94 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He had a very solid six-year stretch from 2008 until his arm problems in 2013: 63-59, 3.48 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP.
Kruth says that Rodriguez will have a chance to compete for a roster spot out of Spring Training as a back-end starter.