According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Jose Tabata was cleared to resume hitting last week after being shut down in September due to a broken bone in his left hand.
Tabata received clearance from doctors while he was in Pittsburgh for the Pirates’ caravan and PirateFest events and immediately began hitting in the indoor cage.
“I was a little nervous because I wanted to feel good,” Tabata said. “Now, I am feeling pretty good. I’m ready to roll.”
Tabata also dealt with quad and hamstring injuries this past season, batting .266/.349/.362 with four home runs, 21 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .711 OPS over 382 plate appearances. The speedy 23-year-old agreed to a long-term contract with the Pirates in August which could keep him with the club through 2019.
The Pirates brought former All-Star Nate McLouth back on a one-year deal earlier this month, but they currently project to have Tabata, Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley in their starting outfield next season.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.