Pirates calling up Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln

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After seeing first hand what a top prospect can do last night, the Pirates reportedly will call up both Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata from Triple-A in time for tonight’s game against the Nationals.
Lincoln went one spot after Evan Longoria as the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, but missed all of 2007 following Tommy John elbow surgery. He’s bounced back pretty well, posting a 3.89 ERA and 97/24 K/BB ratio in 130 innings at Triple-A, but at 25 years old now projects as a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter at best rather than an ace.
Tabata was acquired from the Yankees in the mid-2008 deal for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte, and has seen his stock decline since showing lots of promise as a teenager in the low minors. Once thought to have middle-of-the-order upside he’s managed only 14 homers in 246 games between Double-A and Triple-A, but he’s still just 21 years old and should develop at least a bit more pop.
Plus, even if the power never arrives Tabata should be able to make an impact closer to the top of the Pirates’ lineup. He’s hit .290 at Double-A and Triple-A, getting on base at a solid .355 clip and swiping 54 bags at a 77 percent success rate. His raw numbers are nothing special, but for someone who’s been very young for every level of competition it’s definitely encouraging. Whether or not he’s ready for the majors right now is another matter entirely.

The top 100 Jock Jams

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. So here’s a fun list from Billboad: The 100 Greatest Jock Jams of all time.

You know ’em when you hear ’em. “Seven Nation Army.” “Rock and Roll Part 2.” “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project. Songs that existed before they were used at sporting events but songs you rarely ever hear outside of them anymore and, frankly, kinda don’t want to because they’ve been forever turned into sporting event anthems.

It’s hard to disagree with this list. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is at number one. I’ll grant that, even if you hear that way less now than you used to, mostly because it was SO overused as, perhaps, the original jock jam from the 1980s-forward. All of the rest make sense.

Baseball lends itself far less to jock jams than the other sports as the intensity level of the game is so much lower for the most part. Also, since the rankings tried to intentionally stay away from songs that relate to only one sport there is no “Centerfield” or “Glory Days” or songs like that. Baseball is represented, though, with “Sweet Caroline” at number 20. Likewise, you might hear any number of these songs when the bases are loaded and the visiting manager comes out to make a pitching change. A lot of players use these songs as walkup music too.

A good time killer on a slow day.

(h/t to my wife, who sent me the link and said “Did you see this? Could be a good garbage post”). Um, thanks?

Yoenis Cespedes plans to run more, lift less this offseason

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Yoenis Cespedes plans to be in The Best Shape of His Life next season.

He didn’t really say that, but this article in the New York Post features Cespedes doing more or less what those Best Shape of His Life stories are aimed at doing: changing perceptions and/or trying to take the heat off of a poor or injury-impacted season.

In Cespedes’ case it was two hamstring injuries this year which limited him to 81 games. He hit the disabled list with a leg injury last year too. So what’s he gonna do? Less emphasis on bulk, more on running:

“I think in the past I have gone into the season where I have spent a lot of time in the gym doing a lot of lifting, so I come in feeling very strong,” Cespedes said through an interpreter before the Mets’ 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Marlins. “But I definitely wasn’t dedicating the time I need to be running, to really give resistance to my muscles.

Of course the bulk was, at the time, supposed to be to what was responsible for his resurgence after he fell off while playing with the A’s and Red Sox. Get strong, hit bombs. He did that, it worked and then the injuries came and now, apparently, that’s not supposed to be a good thing for him.

I get that bodies change and that exercise science is often an inexact science. And, where it is more exact, it’s outside of the total understanding of outsiders like us. But it often seems that guys in baseball do a thing, then do the opposite thing, then go back to doing a thing based on gut feeling. And that injuries are going to come to certain players no matter what they do.