Tag:Jose Tabata
Posted on: April 6, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Pirates impressive early on


By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates are better than you think.

Is Pittsburgh going to challenge for the NL Central crown? No. Are they going to break their streak of losing seasons? Probably not. But they they will be better this season than they have been in many years and in the next couple of seasons, winning baseball in the Steel City may become a reality.

Pittsburgh has taken two of three from the Cardinals and Cubs to start the season, beating St. Louis 3-1 on Wednesday.

The main reason the Pirates are sitting at 4-2 is they have a legit top of their lineup.

Pittsburgh's top four hitters -- Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Lyle Overbay -- are hitting a combined .356/.434/.621 in the team's first games. Walker and McCutchen each have a pair of homers, with Overbay adding another.

That's not a pace the team can sustain, but McCutchen is on the edge of stardom, while Walker and Tabata are good, emerging players. Overbay is the type of player with better results than reputation. A career .274/.358/.447 hitter, he's unlikely to continue hitting .304/..385/.522, but shouldn't fall too far.

Walker's performance as a rookie last season was overshadowed by an historic first-year class, but he still put up a very good season, hitting .296/.349/.462 with 12 home runs in 110 games for his hometown team.  Tabata's prospect status took a hit in the last couple of years, but he too put up solid rookie numbers in 2010, hitting .299/.346/.400 in 102 games.

Add in Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Doumit and Garrett Jones, and there's the making of an effective offense.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Pirates are hitting .271/.333/.409 with six home runs. With that, the Pirates' starters have a 2.52 ERA through six games. That's unlikely to continue in a rotation of Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, James McDonald, Charlie Morton and Ross Ohlendorf they've pitched well, with Correia picking up two wins so far this season and have made the Pirates anything but a pushover early.

Joel Hanrahan has been the rare closer in the big leagues to convert all of his save chances, recording the save in all four of the PIrates' wins this season.

It should also be noted that all six games have been on the road, where Pittsburgh had an MLB-worst 17-64 record a year ago.

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Posted on: March 27, 2011 11:43 am
 

Pepper: Silva released, Cubs blunder ... or not

By Matt Snyder

The Cubs just issued a press release that Carlos Silva has been, uh, released. Good riddance. Now, about how it all went down ...

I like Big League Stew and David Brown, so I hope we don't get into a whole thing here, but I have to say I don't understand this column . Brown uses a lot of words to call out the Cubs for having a pitching coach notify Carlos Silva he wouldn't make the team instead of general manager Jim Hendry doing so. I would generally agree with that sentiment, but then I see this quote from the Chicago Tribune :

"I told Carlos Silva there was not a spot for him unless there's an injury between now and Opening Day," general manager Jim Hendry said. "We will explore trade opportunities with other clubs."

A little farther down in the same article, Silva mentions that the new pitching coach, Mark Riggins, was trying to talk him up and said, "Man, you've been throwing the ball good, you can pitch, all of that, blah, blah, blah. If you go out there to Triple-A and throw some games to continue building, to continue getting better ... "

If that looks like a weird quote, it's because it was Carlos Silva discussing the situation. It's an emotional Silva, too, who already isn't going to be mistaken for Derek Jeter in terms of eloquence, professionalism or, really, anything. From that, we're to gather that was how he found out he wasn't making the team. Sorry, I'm not ready to make that leap. And if I did believe every word Silva said -- I'm trying not to laugh -- the mistake would appear to be Riggins' for letting it slip. That above quote doesn't sound like Hendry sent Riggins in to break the news.

I don't want to come off like a Hendry apologist, because he's proven himself not a very good GM. When the Ricketts family pays Kosuke Fukudome eight figures this year or Alfonso Soriano $19 million in 2014 they might agree. I'm just saying this particular call-out was a big reach. Even if Silva was telling the truth, it was a minor slip-up -- in which a rookie coach accidentally let the cat out of the bag. It's much less a big deal than giving Milton Bradley a three-year contract -- which is the whole reason Silva's with the club anyway. In fact, the funny part of this whole thing is that Silva represents an actual good move by Hendry. He saved money in trading Bradley for Silva. Granted, it was his fault he had to deal Bradley, but he patched it up as best he could. That's about all you can ask from a middling-at-best GM.

MESSIN' WITH TEXAS: The Rangers are expected to make a decision on the fifth starter Sunday. Remember, they already did, but Tommy Hunter injured himself the day the announcement was made. What about Alexi Ogando? ESPN Dallas makes a case.

FIVE GUYS: MLB.com looks at five players who need to "get it together" this season. I actually think all five will.

DEBUT ... D'OH: Chris Dickerson was making a good impression on his new team Saturday. He joined the Yankees after a trade and promptely went 3-3 with a double. His encore was leaving the game with cramps. (MLB.com )

SMACKDOWN:
Earlier this week, crotchety curmudgeon Murray Chass wrote one of the more ridiculous things anyone has ever written. He used a second-hand story of a third-hand account of an event taken out of context to say Stan Musial was racist. The hilarious part is Chass likes to talk about how he's a respectable journalist and refuses to acknowledge that he's a blogger. Anyway, I'm not going to get into bashing him any further, because the great Joe Posnanski took him down better than I could ever hope to do. And you won't find a link to Chass' blog (yep, I said it, Murray) here or there. I refuse to give hits to that clown.

PATTERSON OK: Corey Patterson took a high-90s fastball to the head Friday. Fortunately it hit his helmet, but that's still an awfully big impact. The good news is that he appears to be just fine. "I seem to be doing OK," Patterson said. "I got checked out at the hospital last night and the doctor said everything looked fine. There weren't any concussion symptoms, but it doesn't mean that it can't evolve into that. Just have to keep an eye on it and make sure I'm in regular contact with our trainers." (MLB.com )

SILENT NIGHT: The A's may not have a radio broadcast on their flagship station this season. (Mercury News )

HOME SWEET HOME: Ryan Zimmerman wants to be with the Washington Nationals for a long time. It's just a matter of whether or not the Nats will pony up the kind of dough he'd command on the open market. (Washington Post ) The smart money is on them doing so. He's the centerpiece of the team and at 26, he's hardly too old to stay for a while. Plus, unless you've been listening to me scream about it for the past few weeks, you might not realize the Nationals have plenty of money.

Pirates LINEUP SET:
Andrew McCutchen has hit leadoff for 190 games in his early career. He's batted second 17 games and third 53. This season, he's going to man the three-hole for the Pirates, following Jose Tabata and Neil Walker. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

THE GRITTY GRINDERS! A clash between sabermatricians and old-school baseball writers has long been the contention that players like David Eckstein are either a) severely underrated because they do things you can't measure with stats; or b) severely overrated because the numbers show they don't help a team much. Well, the New York Times tries to bridge that gap by figuring team records with and without certain players. According to the metric, Ruben Tejada was the Mets' most valuable player while Alex Rodriguez is largely irrelevant to the Yankees ("they seemed to get along just fine without [him]"). There are several other oddities, such as six Reds having better winning percentages than league MVP Joey Votto. I'd be much more inclined to jump aboard here if baseball wasn't a team sport with so many factors to take into account in each and every game. For example, if a pitcher coughs up 10 runs with Votto at first base and then someone else throws a shutout on his scheduled off-day, how in God's name does that mean the team is better off without him? There are seemingly infinite examples at hand like this.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Stars, scrubs of March 2 games

By Evan BrunellSilva

Coming your way: the three stars and scrubs of March 2 spring training games ...

STARS

1. Matt Wieters, BAL: 3 for 4, 2 RBI: Could Wieters be ready to break out? After a very disappointing 2010 season, the 24-year-old is looking to tap into the potential that caused the birth of MattWietersFacts.com. Stay tuned, but this is a nice start.

2. Casey McGehee, MIL: 3 for 3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR: A nice day for the Brew Crew's third baseman. As the projected No. 6 hitter, he will be the last line of defense before the motley crew of Yuniesky Betancourt, Carlos Gomez and the pitcher in the lineup. McGehee, who cracked the 100-RBI barrier last season, will be counted upon to have a repeat season.

3. Jose Tabata, PIT: 3 for 3, 1 RBI. With Andrew McCutchen moving to the No. 3 spot, Tabata will be looked at to be the new leadoff batter for the Pirates. So far, so good, although what bears monitoring is Tabata's stated focus to improve his power. All Pittsburgh cares about is Tabata getting on base. 

SCRUBS

1. Carlos Silva, CHC: 1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HR. Do you really have to ask why? Silva got into a fight with Aramis Ramirez after a disastrous first inning in which there were six runs coughed up by Silva's hand on two three-run home runs, and three errors committed by fielders. Really, it's just a day the Cubs would like to forget.

2. Nick Bierbrodt, BAL: 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR: Um, how much of a blast from the past is Bierbrodt? I recall the 32-year-old from High Heat 2001, and he was just as bad in the game as he was in the majors. He has a career 6.66 ERA (devilish!) in 144 2/3 innings and hasn't appeared in the majors since 2004. Just a guess, but that streak will extend another season.

3. Josh Johnson, FLA: 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Not exactly a great debut for JJ, who will be looked upon to anchor the rotation once more and one of very few Marlins with long-term financial security and a home address in Miami. Ask Dan Uggla how rare that is.

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am
 

Two voters left Posey or Heyward off ballots

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter ) has gotten the breakdown of the BBWAA voting for Rookie of the Year and the four voters that broke with the consensus of Buster Posey and Jason Heyward as the National League's top rookies.

Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , didn't vote for Heyward. He voted Posey first and then a pair of Pirates, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata.

Yasuhi Kikuchi of Kyodo News voted Florida's Gaby Sanchez first, followed by Heyward and St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia.

Sanchez's other first-place vote came from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald.

Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News gave Garcia his first-place vote.

UPDATE: Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chroicle has spoken to Kikuchi about his vote. Kikuchi said he didn't vote for Posey because of his May 29 call-up.

"Obviously it was a tough decision," Kikuchi said (via Schulman's Twitter ). "To me, Rookie of the Year is the best rookie player throughout the whole season."

UPDATE: Kovacevic checks in on Twitter with his reasoning:

"Felt very firmly about Posey, thus chose him 1st. Felt Walker/Tabata had strong years, comparable to rest of class. ... Neither Walker nor Tabata is off-the-board choice, as seen from list of NL rookies with 400 PA, ranked by OPS. ... Obviously saw way more of Walker/Tabata than others, but that also gave perspective on them performing at high level in poor lineup/setting."

The one problem with that is that Heyward was second in OPS among NL rookies with 400 plate appearances or more, ahead of Walker.

He is right that Walker isn't off the board. Tabata had a .746 OPS, more than 100 points lower than Heyward. It appears Kovacevic gave the local kids some recognition with his second- and third-place votes, but wanted to make sure his idea of the "right" player won.

"
Feeling always has been with voting that broadest variety of perspectives bring best results. Few can argue final overall tally, I'd think."

I don't agree, but see where Kovacevic is coming from. As an aside, having read Kovacevic for years, he's far from a homer, although he's already been accused of being one. I don't agree with his vote or even his reasoning, but isn't that why you have a vote instead of just a decision? In the end, the trophy is going to Posey and Heyward is second.


-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am
 

Feliz, Posey win Rookie honors

Buster Posey Rangers closer Neftali Feliz and Giants catcher Buster Posey are your Rookies of the Year. No surprise, really.

The only question about today's results was which deserving National League rookie would win. Buster Posey ended up winning, taking the award over Atlanta's Jason Heyward.

While I would have voted for Heyward, I have zero problem with Posey winning. Both were incredible. What strikes me as interesting is the voting results, as Posey won comfortably, getting 20 of the 32 first-place votes and finishing with a total of 129 points. Heyward got nine first-place votes and 107 total points. I honestly thought it would be closer.

Three voters didn't vote for either, one voter went with Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, while two voted for Gaby Sanchez.

The American League spread was about the same, as the National League. Feliz received 20 first-place votes and finished with 122 points. Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson finished second, with eight first-place votes and 98 total points. Twins third baseman Danny Valencia was third.

Pedro Feliz The difference, as discussed last week, was the caliber of candidates in both leagues. Feliz had a good year, but he's a closer, and that's a different role. Just for the record, let's look at the stats from the American League Rookie of the Year:

69 1/3 IP, 43 H, 21 R, 21 ER, 18 BB, 71 K, 2.73 ERA, .880 WHIP

Not bad numbers. Now let's look at a rookie in the National League who didn't garner a single vote.

68 IP, 56 H, 25 R, 22 ER, 17 BB, 92 K, 2.91 ERA, 1.074 WHIP

How about that? How did that guy not even get considered for the National League Rookie of the Year?

That's because he got hurt -- and he was a starter.

Stephen Strasburg made just 12 starts, but still pitched nearly as many innings as Feliz, who was the Rangers' closer. He didn't have 40 saves.

That said, Feliz definitely deserved the award.

The voting:
National League (points)
Buster Posey 129
Jason Heyward 107
Jaime Garcia 24
Gaby Sanchez 18
Neil Walker 3
Starlin Castro 3
Ike Davis 2
Jose Tabata 1
Jonny Venters 1

American League
Neftali Feliz 122
Austin Jackson 98
Danny Valencia 12
Wade Davis 11
John Jaso 3
Brandon Boesch 3
Brian Matusz 3

The National League Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 13, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:56 am
 

R.I.P. Pirates: 18 losing seasons and counting

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Oh, Pirates. So sad. But hey, you've got one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball, maybe one day you'll have a real major league team.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Where to start?

Well, let's avoid the debacle that was the Akinori Iwamura trade, and go straight to the biggest problem.

The Pirates' starting rotation was Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Charlie Morton -- each lost at least 10 games. Now, I know we're smart enough here not to judge a pitcher based solely on his W-L record. But all but Ohlendorf had an ERA+ of 83 or lower. That ain't good.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

James McDonald Several young players showed glimpses of being productive big leaguers in the future. Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker (pictured, lower right) join Andrew McCutchen as a lineup that can play.

How about the trade of Octavio Dotel and cash to the Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald (pictured, left)? McDonald, 25, started 11 games for the Pirates after the trade and went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA. McDonald has impressive stuff and is one of the few strikeout pitchers on the roster.

HELP ON THE WAY

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Pirates do have some good, young talent. Unfortunately, not much of it is ready for the big leagues.

One of the few that could help soon is Bryan Morris, a 23-year old right-hander who went 6-4 with a 4.25 ERA at Double-A Altoona.

There will certainly be players to watch in the team's minor league system, but it'll be in the lower levels in guys like Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie and Luis Heredia.

Neil Walker EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

It's the Pirates, the expectations don't change. There are none besides playing 81 home games.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Oh, how about this crazy idea. You know that money you get from other teams in revenue sharing? Why not spend it on players? Radical, right?

Now, who do you sign? Right now you go for bargain innings-eaters. Maybe someone like Kevin Millwood or Brad Penny. They're not great, but they can be had and could stick around a little longer.

It's not like Carl Crawford is going to sign in Pittsburgh, but that's not the type of player the Pirates need to target at this point, instead it's filler until the real talent comes along.

2011 PREDICTION

The Pirates will record their 19th consecutive losing season and finish at the bottom of perhaps the weakest division in baseball once again.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Posted on: September 2, 2010 6:28 pm
 

Cubs' Gorzelanny to miss start

Tom Gorzelanny
Cubs left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, who left during the third inning of his start Thursday when Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata lined a ball off his right hand, has a small fracture and will miss at least one start, says the Chicago Tribune.

A CT scan showed a small, incomplete hairline fracture beneath the nail of his pinky finger. Of more immediate concern is the swelling of his palm, which will determine when he can get back to pitching.

Carlos Silva, who has been on a rehab assignment after a heart procedure, could be ready to be called up and take Gorzelanny's next start.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:01 pm
 

Solid debut for Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen joked that there was so much hype surrounding Pirates prized prospect Pedro Alvarez he might walk the rookie to get to the next hitter.

That didn't happen Wednesday night, but the Alvarez Era got under way with the debut of what some call the best power hitting prospect the Pirates have had since Barry Bonds.

Alvarez didn't collect his first hit in the Pirates' 7-2 loss, but he walked and scored a run, going 0-for-2. He struck out swinging in his first at-bat against John Danks.

The pressure will be high for Alvarez to generate some offense and some buzz for the miserable Pirates, who have lost 10 in a row. But at least he can share the burden with the other young guns that have arrived in Pittsburgh of late. Top pitching prospect Brad Lincoln arrived last week, as did outfielder Jose Tabata. Tabata accounted for the only other Pirates run Wednesday, hitting his first home run in the eighth.

-- David Andriesen

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