Pirates notebook: A little progress for Wandy Rodriguez

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MIAMI -- Wandy Rodriguez took another small step forward in his rehabilitation Friday, when he increased the length and duration of his throwing program.

Rodriguez, on the 15-day disabled list because of tightness in his left forearm, was to make two sets of 70 throws at a distance of 80 to 90 feet.

"We're stretching him out a little bit and we're adding repetitions," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Rodriguez has not pitched since June 5, when he left a start after 14 pitches and a third of an inning.

He received a platelet-rich plasma injection July 1.

Hurdle said the Pirates have not developed a plan for Rodriguez's return to the mound.

Tabata still hurting

Jose Tabata said Friday he has difficulty gripping a baseball, the result of taking a pitch off his right forearm Wednesday night.

Tabata will not play in the field for a few games as a result.

"We're going to give him a couple days," Hurdle said. "There was improvement, I didn't realize how swollen it was right after he was hit."

Tabata pinch-hit in Thursday's game.

"I thought he made pretty good strides [Thursday] getting enough flexibility back, enough strength back, to swing the bat," Hurdle said.

"He took some aggressive swings early, took batting practice, he actually went and tried to throw."

Hurdle said he thought Tabata would be able to throw before the end of the weekend series.

Same spin on rotation

The Pirates will keep their starters aligned in the rotation next week for the five-game home series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Francisco Liriano will start the first game, and A.J. Burnett will start one game of the doubleheader Tuesday. Jeff Locke will start Wednesday and Charlie Morton will finish the series Thursday.

Hurdle said the Pirate have not decided who would start the other game of the doubleheader.

Two no-hitters in one night

Two minor league teams in the Pirates organization experienced the good and bad of no-hitters Thursday night.

Class AA Altoona's Ethan Hollingsworth, Jason Townsend, Jhonathan Ramos and Ryan Beckman combined for a no-hitter against New Hampshire.

Chicago White Sox prospect Andre Rienzo pitched a no-hitter in a seven-inning game against Class AAA Indianapolis.

Rienzo, pitching for Charlotte, walked four and struck out 11.

The Curve pitchers faced two batters over the minimum.

Hollingsworth, who started and pitched four innings, hit a batter, and Townsend walked a man.

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Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published July 27, 2013 4:00 AM


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