Concerns eased regarding Wandy's shoulder

Concerns eased regarding Wandy's shoulder

KISSIMEE, Fla. -- Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez didn't sound too worried about the mild shoulder tendinitis that scratched him from his upcoming Tuesday start on Monday morning, and that in turn eased the mind of his manager.

"Right now, it's not very high," Astros skipper Brad Mills said about the level of concern for Rodriguez's most recent ailment. "When he came in today, I asked if he'd come into the office and visit, and he did and we sat and talked a little bit, and as long as he's not concerned, I'm not concerned as much."

Mills didn't get to speak with the left-hander Sunday, when the injury was announced, because he was in Lakeland, Fla., to watch the Astros as part of a split-squad doubleheader. Rodriguez will be shut down for a few days, and Mills said the plan is to skip just that one start and have him make his next turn thereafter, giving him 10 or 11 days of rest.

Rodriguez said he felt pain in his shoulder early in his last start, but added that it's nothing he has never dealt with before, saying: "That's just normal to a pitcher."

"I feel it only in like my sixth throw," Rodriguez added. "But later, when I throw about six or more, when my arm feels a little bit more [loose], I don't feel nothing. It's only when I start to throw."

Rodriguez has made three starts this spring, hurling 8 2/3 innings and allowing nine runs, six of which came in his first outing. On Thursday against the Nationals, he gave up one run on four hits and struck out four in four innings.

The 32-year-old had a dreadful spring last year, but got stronger as the season went on, going 8-2 with a National League-leading 2.03 ERA in his final 18 starts en route to a three-year, $34 million extension.

Astros general manager Ed Wade previously said Rule 5 Draft pick Aneury Rodriguez -- who pitched one inning Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- would be available to start Tuesday.

"I'm sure all pitchers, at some point, have some tendinitis to where it's hard for them to get loose, and once it gets loose, it feels OK," Mills said. "Let's nip it in the bud or get it calmed down before we push it any further."