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.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.