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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

Raisel Iglesias injured elbow and hips falling in the shower

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Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.

Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”

Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.

Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.