Just week since he helped the Pirates avoid getting perfect-gamed by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, outfielder Jose Tabata has been designated for assignment, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. It sounds like pitcher Chris Volstad is on his way out as well, while Steve Lombardozzi and Gorkys Hernandez are coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Tabata, 26, hit .289/.341/.289 with four RBI in 41 plate appearances for the Pirates this season. Once a top prospect in the Yankees’ system, Tabata has yet to match expectations. He joined the Pirates in July 2008 along with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, and Daniel McCutchen when the Pirates sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Bronx in a trade.
Though Tabata has utility and is only 26, he’s unlikely to be claimed on waivers as he’s owed the remainder of his $4.167 million salary plus $4.5 million next season and a $250,000 buyout for any of the 2017-19 seasons.
Update (9:31 PM EST): Cano does not have a concussion, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. He’s day-to-day with a contusion on his forehead.
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was hit in the head with an errant warmup throw from an Angels infielder before the start of the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday’s road game against the Angels. He was standing against the railing in the dugout at the time. With a big knot on his forehead, Cano was lifted from the game and replaced at second base by Willie Bloomquist.
On Twitter, Shannon Drayer of 710 AM KIRO said that Cano looked “very shaky” as he was being examined by the team trainer in the dugout. Cano is undergoing concussion protocol, Drayer notes, and the Mariners will proceed from there.
Cano was 0-for-3 on the evening before departing. He has yet to gather any momentum this season, currently batting .244/.281/.352 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 303 plate appearances.
Taijuan Walker’s promising spring training didn’t translate to the early part of the regular season, but he’s starting to look like the pitcher the Mariners have been waiting on.
Walker tossed seven innings of one-run ball last night as part of a 7-1 win over the Angels. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up a solo homer to Mike Trout in the first inning, but that ended up being the only damage against him all night. He scattered seven hits while walking none and striking out six. Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith combined for a scoreless eighth inning before Fernando Rodney got his first save in nearly a month.
As for the offense, Brad Miller and Nelson Cruz each had RBI doubles while Robinson Cano hit a solo home run. Could Cano finally be heating up? He has two homers over his last four games after hitting just two of his first 67 games combined.
Walker struggled to the tune of a 7.33 ERA and 39/23 K/BB ratio in 43 innings over his first nine starts this season, but he has made massive strides of late, especially with his control. He has 1.91 ERA over his last six starts to go with 44 strikeouts and just three walks in 42 1/3 innings. That’ll work.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Indians 3, Orioles 4
Nationals 5, Phillies 2
Rangers 2, Blue Jays 12
Braves 2, Pirates 3 (10 innings)
White Sox 4, Tigers 5
Reds 1, Mets 2
Red Sox 4, Rays 3 (10 innings)
Dodgers 7, Marlins 1
Cubs 2, Cardinals 3 (10 innings)
Yankees 3, Astros 2
Twins 4, Brewers 10
Mariners 3, Angels 1
Diamondbacks 2, Padres 4
Mariners 3, Angels 1
Rockies 8, Giants 6
Royals 5, Athletics 2
As I mentioned in the recaps the other day, one of my favorite things is when a player beats up on the Yankees and then Yankees fans and/or the press that covers them begins to covet them.
Maybe they start talking up implausible trade rumors, such as they did a few years ago with respect to Felix Hernandez. Maybe they start talking about the player’s free agency clock and how long until they can be a Yankee, which they will inevitably be. If we’re extra lucky one of the tabloids will photoshop the player into Yankee pinstripes. Bryce Harper has gotten this treatment an awful lot lately.
I predicted that Maikel Franco would get such treatment after notching 10 RBI in two games in Yankee Stadium. He hasn’t quite gotten that yet, but he has gotten the next best thing. A trope that I neglected to mention the other day but one that is just as fun: tabloids talking about how such-and-such could’ve been a Yankee, except the Yankees were too dumb or too cheap or whatever to snag him. Mike Trout got this treatment recently. Franco got it yesterday:
The sight of Maikel Franco coming to the plate Wednesday at Yankee Stadium will strike fear in the hearts of Yankees fans.
The fact that he was almost a Yankee will break their hearts.
The Phillies rookie, who has tormented Yankee pitching in the first two games of their series to the tune of 10 RBI and three homers, nearly signed with the Yankees as an international free agent, but, according to one report, signed with the Phillies because they offered — wait for it — $5,000 more.
Brian Cashman has no recollection of this but doesn’t deny that it was possible, as anything is possible with Dominican free agents. But of course anything is possible with drafts and international signings and going back over them to see who could’ve gone where is an odd pursuit given the randomness and uncertainty of talent development in baseball.
You tend not to see this in markets besides New York. It’s an odd thing.
There’s a pretty cool comeback story in the works here …
Gutierrez didn’t play any sort of MLB-affiliated ball in 2014 after being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes problems in many other joints. And he averaged just 58 games between 2011-2013 due to a variety of injuries. But the 32-year-old was slashing .317/.402/.500 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 48 games this season at the Triple-A level and he is starting in left field and batting second Wednesday in his first major league game since September 27, 2013. Good for Guti.