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Pirates notebook: Rodriguez to throw Friday

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodrigiez tosses a ball next to Charlie Morton during the team's first workout of spring training Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

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Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 6:51 p.m.

• Left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday and is expected to be ready for the start of the season. Rodriguez, 35, made only 12 starts last year before being shut down due to lingering forearm discomfort. He went 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA. “Physically, he's coming along very well,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We're going to take it slow with him this spring, so he's kind of on a different program than the other guys. But he's healthy and feels good.”

• The Pirates signed left-hander Yao-Hsun Yang to a minor league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training. Yang, 31, made nine outings last year in the minor leagues in Japan. Over parts of six seasons in the Japanese Central League, Yang made 38 appearances (12 starts) for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He went 5-5 with a 3.08 ERA.

• All 36 pitchers and catchers reported in time for the first official workout Thursday. Seven position players — Chase d'Arnaud, Jaff Decker,Chris McGuiness, Jordy Mercer, Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker — were early arrivals. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday.

Russell Martin, who played for the New York Yankees in 2011 and 2012, was not surprised when Derek Jeter announced he will retire after this season. “He's getting a little bit older, and it seems like it's getting tougher to play, tougher to stay on the field,” Martin said. “I've had a lot of great teammates, but he was definitely a class act all the way around. I have nothing but praise for Derek, how he approaches the game, his work ethic and how he conducts himself on and off the field. He's a role model.”

— Rob Biertempfel

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