Found July 03, 2013 on
Boston Red Sox
Jose Tabata will be given the chance to play right field every day. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Jose Tabata is starting in right field Wednesday night as the Pirates take on the Philadelphia Phillies. The outfielder returned to the 25-man roster today after his nine-game rehabilitation (oblique) with Triple-A Indianapolis.
“It’s a little tight sometimes, especially when I wake up in the morning,” Tabata said. “After that, I feel great… I’m here today. Thank you, God.”
His first matchup is against left-hander John Lannan in place of Travis Snider. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Tabata has the chance to take away any worries about the team’s production in right field.
“He could definitely be that guy,” Hurdle said. “We’re gonna give him every opportunity to play, to get out there. He was working to a very good spot before the injury.”
Indeed, Tabata hit .340 with a .920 OPS over a month of games before his injury, and his season numbers in a small sample (.272/.337/.407) resembled the OPS he posted in his successful rookie year (.299/.346/.400).
“His play defensively, his running the bases, his swings of the bat were as good as I’ve ever seen him,” Hurdle said, adding that the idea of starting Gaby Sanchez as first base and Garrett Jones in right field “could still play.”
To Rehab or Not To Rehab?
Injured starter A.J. Burnett (right calf strain) may not make any rehab starts before he returns to the active roster. He threw a simulated game “without incident” Tuesday.
A.J. Burnett hopes to avoid a rehab assignment. "I don't know why I'd need to. I didn't hurt my arm." #Pirates
— Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) July 3, 2013
Hurdle would not commit either way to Burnett pitching a game or two in the minor leagues, but the decision may depend on how he pitches in Thursday’s bullpen session.
“I haven’t given in any other thought than taking it one day at a time,” Hurdle said. “He has his own personal feelings, if he can continue to do the work he thinks he needs to do.”
Drew Sutton and Surprises
Today is the one-year anniversary of the Drew Sutton Game, the Pirates’ comeback victory to take first-place in the NL Central that was capped by Sutton’s walkoff home run. It was his only Pittsburgh homer and his most recent in the Major Leagues, as the utility man now plays for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Winning teams need contributions from everyone, even a Sutton.
“Everybody has basically won a game for us,” Hurdle said. “Everybody out there in that clubhouse, and some guys that aren’t, have done something of significance.”
Teammates have been impressed by Marte’s leadoff skills and fielding ability. (Photo credit: David Hague)
Jeff Locke (Wednesday’s starter) and Starling Marte were the players’ runaway choices for biggest surprises of the Pirates’ first half in a poll conducted by Santelli Anonymous Polling ™. Hurdle singled out those two, along with Russell Martin and Jeanmar Gomez, as players who have surpassed expectations.
“I love the way that Marte has adapted to the leadoff spot and the way he’s played left field,” Hurdle said. ”I love the way that Jeff Locke has melded into the rotation at this particular point in time. The last man standing.”
J-Mac Gets Positive News
Locke will look to continue his stellar first half (3rd in National League ERA) with his second-half debut. You’ll remember around this point last year, James McDonald held the NL’s 3rd best ERA before a poor second half, posting a 7.52 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 51 strikeouts and 38 walks.
James McDonald will not pitch again until at least late July, but his shoulder has no structural damage.
The 28-year-old will continue his shoulder rehabilitation after two or three weeks of rest. The right-hander saw Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister, who said McDonald’s shoulder had inflammation and some tendinitis but looked good structurally.
“I rushed a little bit back,” McDonald said. “It’s good news to hear [Meister's diagnosis]. It’s better than hearing him saying, ‘Aw, this is bad.’ It sucks because you want to get on the field. I’m looking every day, checking to see what they’re doing. It’s exciting. I want to contribute.”
McDonald made six rehab starts in the minor leagues before the most recent setback took him off the mound. His words for Locke as the left-hander begins his second half in a similar situation as McDonald’s 2012?
“Do what you do, keep being you,” McDonald said. “Don’t put too much on your shoulders. You’ve got other guys behind you.”
Switch-hitter Neil Walker will continue to get at-bats against lefties despite his poor season numbers (.241 OBP, no extra-base hits in 56 plate appearances). “It hasn’t been what we expected,” Hurdle said. “His 2010 season was pretty solid from the right side” with a .295/.344/.464 line that was similar to his performance as a left-handed hitter.
Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is back in the Pirates’ bullpen after being a candidate for Tuesday’s start. Hurdle: ”It almost seems like he’s invisible. He just goes out there, gives you 75-80 pitches, no one dings him too much.”
Reliever Jared Hughes will travel to Florida “to continue his return to pitch progression,” the Pirates said. He said he felt good after Tuesday’s 35-pitch bullpen session.
The Pirates also updated us on minor league right-handed pitchers Phil Irwin and Kyle McPherson. Now I will update you. Irwin had surgery to “transpose the ulnar nerve,” which is big city talk for moving a nerve in his right elbow, and he will be out about two months. McPherson will see Dr. James Andrews late next week.
And while I’m here and you’re here (thanks for sticking around, by the way), I might as well pimp my Pirates Defensive Shifts treatise. I have been amazed by the positive response, and hope all of you who enjoyed it have a very handsome holiday. You’ve earned it.
BEST OF MAXIM
Jose Tabata has been activated from the DL. Photo Credit: David Hague
A few roster updates this afternoon:
**The Pirates have activated Jose Tabata from the disabled list. To make room they have optioned Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A.
**Phil Irwin had ulnar nerve transposition surgery on his right-elbow today. He is expected to miss approximately two months of action.
Brandon Cumpton will start tonight’s game.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have called up Brandon Cumpton to make tonight’s start against the Philadelphia Phillies. Josh Harrison has been optioned to Triple-A to make room. More to come.
BLACK AND YELLOW
In honor of the long weekend it looks like Brandon Inge tossed in some real freaky contacts. Get weird, folks. via Mocksession.com [Mocksession] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
After we heard about the two high profile signings from yesterday, shortstop Adrian Valerio and outfielder Edinson Lantigua, the Pirates also announced the signings of seven more players today. These players are all slightly older players, eligible to sign prior to this July 2nd signing period. They are shortstop Luis Perez, second baseman Raul Siri, lefty pitcher Christian Mota...
This game turned on a quick sequence in that went like this: Andrew McCutchen single, Gaby Sanchez single on the next pitch, Russell Martin RBI single two pitches later, Pedro Alvarez three-run homer two pitches after that. That turned a frustrating 1-0 Phillies lead into a 4-1 PIrate lead. That gave the second half of the game a very different tone.
Specifically, it was the...
Jeanmar Gomez was not available to start Tuesday after throwing aggressively Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pirates have not announced their starting rotation for this week’s series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Brandon Cumpton was re-called Tuesday to pitch the first game of the series and the season’s second half tonight.
Jeanmar Gomez and Jeff Locke are considered...
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7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
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TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Pittsburgh Pirates rookie starter Gerrit Cole, after registering wins in each of his first four career starts, was handed his first career loss on Thursday as the Pirates fell to the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-4.
Coming into Thursday’s contest, Cole boasted a 4-0 record and 3.70 ERA over 24 1/3 innings in four starts. Despite the loss, Cole was solid in his effort, working...
Phillies (40-45) at Pirates (52-31)
1:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
This is going to be another awesome day at the ballpark – PNC will be packed again as Pittsburgh celebrates the Fourth of July and the first place Pirates. The Bucs will look to take the series against the Phils and maintain the best record in baseball. It doesn’t get much better than...
Jeff Locke ran his personal winning streak to eight games, Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates hung on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Wednesday night.
Locke (8-1) was scored upon for the first time in four home starts but extended his unbeaten streak to 16 outings. Locke, who hasn't lost since his first start of the season, allowed two earned...
It may be a holiday for most people, but there are still seven games on the minor league schedule today. Only Bradenton has the day off. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable Pitchers Chart. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page, for all Pirates minor league transactions. A full recap of yesterday’s...
The second half of the season begins tonight, with the Pirates defending the best record in baseball and sending Brandon Cumpton to the mound. That's one crazy sentence. Because of the Pirates' 14-inning game against the Brewers necessitated him to warm up, Jeff Locke's start is being pushed back a bit. Because Sunday was Jeanmar Gomez's day to throw a bullpen session...
One thing that is new this year on the international market is that teams can trade from their bonus pools. A team can trade for bonus pool money, giving them the ability to acquire up to 50% of their original bonus pool. For example, the Pirates have a bonus pool of $2,426,000. That means they can trade for up to $1,213,000 in additional pool money.
What I didn’t know until today...