Now that he’s back from a two-month stint on the disabled list Jose Tabata told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that his “dream” is to play right field at PNC Park while wearing Roberto Clemente’s retired No. 21 for one game.
No player has worn that number for the Pirates since the Hall of Famer’s death in 1973, but Tabata idolized Clemente as a kid and the right field wall at PNC Park is 21 feet high and called “Clemente Wall.”
Tabata has been the Pirates’ everyday left fielder since being called up last season, but made his first career start in right field yesterday and indicated that he hopes to ask the Clemente family for permission to wear No. 21 at some point.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.