Pirates calling up Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln


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.

Twins hire Rangers assistant Thad Levine to be their new GM

BOSTON, MA - June 4: The Minnesota Twins logo is seen during the fifth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 4, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
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Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been hired as the Twins’ next General Manager. It has not been made official, but multiple outlets are reporting the hire. Levine will join Derek Falvey, who was named the Twins’ new president of baseball operations last month.

Levine has been the Rangers assistant GM since the 2005 season, working as GM Jon Daniels’ second in command. He’ll still be second in command in Minnesota, but with an elevated title as is the style of the day. He previously worked with the Rockies. He has, according to various reports, been conversant in statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting and player development. As is also the style of the day.

Torey Lovullo is the front runner to be the Diamondbacks next manager

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Torey Lovullo #17 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait on February 28, 2016 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says that “folks would be surprised” if the Diamondbacks didn’t hire Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their next manager. Indeed, he says he’d be “shocked” if Lovullo wasn’t given the job.

New Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen comes from Boston, obviously, and knows Luvullo well. Luvullo has served as the Red Sox interim manager and has been a contender for multiple managerial jobs over the past couple of years. Others have suggested that Phil Nevin, the manager of the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno, is a top choice for the job, but given the wholesale turnover in the Dbacks’ front office, one has to wonder if he has as many patrons there now as he had in the past.

Odds are that any decision on the Arizona skipper position will come after the World Series is over.