A simple session of long toss usually isn't anything for a pitcher to get nervous about. But Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez admits he was on edge a few weeks ago when he picked up a ball and went to throw.
“I was thinking in my mind, ‘Is the pain still there?'” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “I threw nice and easy and didn't feel anything. It was a relief. Right now, I think my arm is good.”

The low-key workout — soft toss from about 90 feet — in early December was the first time Rodriguez threw since he was shut down for the season two months earlier due to forearm pain. The injury limited him to 12 starts, the final one coming on June 5.

Rodriguez is spending the offseason at his home in the Dominican Republic, but he checked in at Pirate City on Tuesday for the team's voluntary workouts. Over the next few days, Rodriguez will huddle with pitching coach Ray Searage and the medical staff.

Rodriguez endured a frustrating, up-and-down rehab process last summer. He tried for three months to get back in action, but never got fully healthy. Doctors did not recommend surgery.
“All I had to do was rest my arm a lot,” Rodriguez said. “That's it.”