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Pirates notebook: Rodriguez inches toward goal of rehab start

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodriguez stands in the dugout during a game against the Diamondbacks Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 at PNC Park.

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Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is hopeful injured left-hander Wandy Rodriguez might squeeze in a rehab start before the minor league seasons are over.

“We believe we might be able to get there,” Hurdle said Friday after Rodriguez threw a session of live batting practice at PNC Park. “It's a possibility.”

Triple-A Indianapolis (which is playoff-bound) and Double-A Altoona will wrap up their regular seasons Sept. 2. High-A Bradenton will play its final game Sept. 1.

If Rodriguez feels good Saturday, he'll proceed with a bullpen session Monday in San Diego and then a simulated game Friday in San Francisco.

Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since June 6 due to left forearm tightness. Almost seven weeks ago, he received a platelet-rich plasma injection.

On Friday, Rodriguez threw 35 pitches, fastballs and changeups only, off the mound.

“His fastball looked sharp. It had good movement, good life,” said outfielder Travis Snider, who batted against him.

Farnsworth signed

The Pirates signed right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league contract and assigned him to Indy.

Farnsworth, 37, went 2-0 with a 5.76 ERA in 39 outings with Tampa Bay this season before being released Aug. 9.

Snider on mend

Snider (left big toe discomfort) expects to return in September. He spent about a week in a boot after getting a PRP injection and is taking swings and doing running drills.

“I haven't started running the bases yet,” Snider said. “At this point, it's just agility and changing direction.”

Snider made some mechanical tweaks before the All-Star break, but things really went out of whack as the pain in his toe increased.

Nutting speaks

Pirates owner Bob Nutting was interviewed Friday morning on CNBC's “Squawk on the Street” segment.

Nutting was asked about the contract status of Andrew McCutchen (who is signed through 2017) and Jason Grilli (who's signed through next season).

“Both are good people and good players. They are tremendous for the community and for the organization,” Nutting said. “We love having those guys with the club, (but), you know, in the reality, nobody keeps every player. The Yankees don't, the Red Sox don't, and the Pirates don't. We need to be very strategic and make sure we have the right players, sign them when we can to long-term deals, and recognize that we're going to have to have a continued flow of talent coming up through our system.”

Nutting also was asked about the Biogenesis scandal.

“I wouldn't want to speak about a specific player,” Nutting said. “What I can say is that I think the commissioner's office has done a tremendous job leading this sport, making sure we're finding people who are cheating, making sure that we have tough suspensions, making sure that the game is clean.”

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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