Jose Tabata cleared to resume hitting following broken bone in hand

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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.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.