Tag:Jose Tabata
Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:26 am

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

It's late November. The awards have all been handed out. The Winter Meetings are in a few weeks. Pitchers and catchers don't report for almost three months. So it's the perfect time to kick off a fun little series. So we're starting the Homegrown series right now. We have a landing page that will be filled out as we move forward with the feature -- on which you can see the exact date we'll be posting each individual team.

What I love most about this series is that it has the potential to either enlighten or vindicate rabid fans in heated arguments. Large-market, big-spending teams are often attacked by opposing fans as simply trying to "buy championships" without having to develop their own talent. The biggest target is the Yankees, so what better team to start the series with?

The news is pretty good for the haters. You have been vindicated. This team would be ... well, you'll see.


1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Jesus Montero, 1B
6. Melky Cabrera, RF
7. Austin Jackson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Starting Rotation

1. Ian Kennedy
2. Ivan Nova
3. Phil Hughes
4. Chien-Ming Wang
5. Jeff Karstens


Closer - Mariano Rivera
Set up - John Axford, David Robertson, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Joba Chamberlain
Long - Phil Coke? Jose Contreras?

Notable Bench Players

Jorge Posada, Dioner Navarro, Juan Rivera, Jose Tabata ... and that's about it. Unless Marcus Thames and Shelley Duncan get you excited.

What's Good?

That bullpen is sick. It would easily be the best in baseball, with any lead past the fifth inning seemingly being safe in the hands of Clippard, Robertson, Axford and Rivera.

What's Not?

Anything else. Nothing is horrible, but the lineup, defense and rotation leave a lot to be desired. What's worse, there's really no depth in case of injuries. They'd have to turn to either Coke or a minor leaguer (Dellin Betances?) in the rotation -- or convince Andy Pettitte to come out of retirement -- and Ramiro Pena is the only backup infielder. There are plenty of backup outfielders, but Tabata's really the only one with upside.

Comparison to real 2011

Well, let's see. The 2011 Yankees won 97 games en route to a division title and the best record in the American League. This team is mediocre at best. The bullpen is awesome, but how many leads would there be to protect? 75? There is an MVP candidate in Cano, but having Soriano as protection isn't near as cushy as he's used to. Since this is the first team in our 30-team series, we won't reveal many other specifics, but I can tell you that this Yankees team would probably finish fourth in the AL East. Thus, it's much worse than reality. I have no way of measuring this, but I do think this team is better than many Yankee-hating fans would have guessed. Lots of those act like the Yankees have never developed anyone. This isn't an awful collection, it's just not good.

Now, it's absolutely worth noting the Yankees lost lots of draft picks as compensation for signing free agents, so that's why they don't have any depth. But let's just remember this is supposed to be a fun exercise for the offseason.

Up next: San Diego Padres

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:35 am

Pepper: Pirates send small message with Tabata

By Matt Snyder

The Pirates announced Sunday that they agreed to terms with outfielder Jose Tabata. He'll be paid $14 million over the next six seasons, with options that could keep Tabata in Pittsburgh through 2019 (Associated Press). The deal buys out the remaining three years of arbitration, but that's not the important part -- which is that the Pirates made a long-term commitment to a young player.

Tabata, 23, has a .356 on-base percentage with 15 stolen bases and 44 runs this year in 75 games, serving mostly as the leadoff man.

He is certainly no Andrew McCutchen and he's been signed for a pretty cheap deal, but the signal is the same as it was when the Pirates were buyers at the trade deadline: These Pirates aren't a laughing matter anymore. No longer is ownership content to simply be a virtual Triple-A team, developing players only to have them traded or leave via free agency. When they lock up McCutchen, which I fully expect, the signal will be even louder. Granted, the Pirates will never be a large-market spender, but the increased attendance this season shows the fans are still there, should the team become a legitimate contender. Expect the Tabata deal to be the first of several.

Strasburg Watch: Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg will make his fourth rehab start Monday. He'll pitch for Class-A Hagerstown again, where he was shelled last time out. He was dominant in his first two outings, however, so Monday will be a good gauge to see if that was simply an off-day. He's going to be working toward four innings and 65 pitches (Nationals Journal). That's a huge sign, because from 65 pitches, a lot of pitchers jump to 80 next time. Presumably, 80 pitches is enough to get back to the bigs. Strasburg is scheduled to have a fifth rehab start August 27, but if everything goes well in these next two outings, that's likely all he'll need before joining the Nats.

Joe on A.J.: Yankees manager Joe Girardi and struggling starting pitcher A.J. Burnett appeared to exchange some pretty heated words Saturday night, but both Girardi and Burnett said the issue was Burnett's anger at the home plate umpire. Girardi reiterated that sentiment Sunday, but also noted Burnett is on shaky ground due to his pitching performance. "The reality is he needs to pitch better," Girardi said (New York Times baseball blog).

Pronk injured: Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner broke an 0-for-16 slump with a single late in Sunday's game, but when he rounded first base, he pulled up lame and limped his way to getting tagged out and back to the dugout. He has a right foot strain, which is a similar injury to one that kept him out for five games earlier in the season (MLB.com).

Time for revenge: It's been a while since the Rangers and Red Sox played. In fact, it was the first series of the season. Many of us may have forgotten the Rangers kicked the Red Sox teeth in for three games, sweeping them and outscoring them 26-11 in three games. It's the only team the Red Sox have played this season and not beaten. Reliever Daniel Bard certainly hasn't forgotten, though, as he said "we owe them something for the first series of the year," Sunday (BostonHerald.com). The two teams square off for a four-game series in Texas, beginning Monday.

Winded Grandyman: Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson hit an inside-the-park home run at Minnesota Sunday, and he was a bit tired after the trip around the bases. “It was good until everyone wanted to talk,” Granderson said (LoHud). ” As we’re coming in, everyone was asking about it, and I couldn’t really talk too much.”

Action Jackson: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson ended Sunday's game by throwing out the would-be tying run at home plate. A game-ending double play scored 8-2 hasn't happened since 1988 when Pirates center fielder Andy Van Slyke pulled it off, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Swarzak in, Blackburn out: Twins starting pitcher Nick Blackburn injured his right forearm early in his start against the Yankees Sunday, and it looks like he's headed for the disabled list, as the Twins have already named a replacement in the rotation. Anthony Swarzak will get the spot (Around the Majors). Swarzak is 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in five starts this season.

Love for Hendry: Recently-fired Cubs (former) general manager Jim Hendry has been beaten down pretty good in terms of fans, message boards, Twitter, etc. But you rarely hear anything bad about him as a person from his own players, media who know him personally or even opposing players. Former Cubs shorstop Ryan Theriot -- who Hendry traded last season -- joins in, calling Hendry a good person who has a good heart (Chicago Tribune).

Leyland tossed again: Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a pretty nice ejection Sunday, marking the fifth time in the past two months he's been run. The Detroit Free-Press has a list of the five ejections.

On this date: Mark McGwire made his big-league debut 25 years ago today. (Hardball Times)

Oh, Nails: Former Phillies and Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra is currently serving time in prison because he filed for bankruptcy and then tried to sell off part of his estate for profit -- which is otherwise known as embezzlement -- and was also accused of lying under oath and trying to hide some of his assets from the bankruptcy court. Apparently, however, Lenny doesn't believe the law applies to him because he was good in the 1993 World Series. Seriously: Read his post by clicking here and let me know if I'm wrong, but I believe that's kind of his argument -- warning, the post has the grammar and spelling of an eight year old. The best part is that Dykstra is delusional enough to believe he's been targeted by a government that wants to redeem itself for the O.J. Simpson case by nailing a celebrity. I mean, you can't make this stuff up. It's amazing.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 9:26 pm

Report: Pirates to sign Tabata to six-year deal


By Evan Brunell

The Pirates are following on the heels of teams such as the Rockies and Rays of recent years in locking up their young players to long-term deals despite these players being a ways away from arbitration, never mind free agency.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the Pirates have agreed to a six-year deal with outfielder Jose Tabata and are deep in discussions with second basemen Neil Walker. Tabata only debuted last June, but has quickly integrated himself into the fabric of the team, hitting a cumulative .285/.348/.385 over 747 plate appearances the past two seasons, swiping 33 bags. Tabata, who turned 23 on Aug. 12 and was acquired from the Yankees in a 2008 trade, doesn't have much power but has hit exclusively at the top of the order for Pittsburgh and should remain there over the life of his new six-year, deal, which kicks in immediately and guarantees his deal through 2016. That means Tabata isn't signing away a guaranteed year of free agency, but did  agree to three successive club options. In that vein, it's very similar to the four-year deal James Shields inked with the Rays for the 2008 season that has three club options built into the contract.

Don't expect a significant figure to be attached to Tabata's deal, even if it's for six seasons. That's because Tabata is giving up the chance to earn significant money through arbitration in exchange for cost-certainty. Instead of taking the risk of being worth a $10 million deal in the final year of arbitration in 2016, Tabata will take guaranteed money that he will receive regardless of injury or attrition. As an idea of what Tabata could receive on the free-agent market, first note that the first two years of the deal will be close to the league minimum -- a total number of $1 million over the next two years sounds right. For purposes of arbitration, let's use Michael Bourn, who is a close-enough approximate of Tabata. Bourn played for $2.4 million in his first year of arbitration and is now currently on a $4.4 million deal. He figures to make around $7 million in 2012, his final season before free agency. That gives a total price of $13.8 million. Add in the first two years of Tabata's deal, and now you have a framework for what Tabata will sign. So let's say six years and $15 million.

(Update: Tabata will earn $14.25 million over the life of the contract, as ESPNDeportes.com reports, saying Tabata's deal increases his 2011 salary to $500,000, plus a $1 million signing bonus. Next season, Tabata will earn $750,000, and then jump to $1 million in 2013, $3 million in 2014, $4 million in 2015 and $4.5 million in 2016. The club options can total up to $37.25 million. ESPN Deportes also noted that Tabata and his agency, ACES Inc., parted ways due to contract negotiations.

"There were philosophical differences over some aspects of the contract, but there's still a lot of respect," a source said of the parting. "In the best interest of both, the parties decided to separate, without ruling out the possibility of working together again."

The Pirates are hoping to lock up Neil Walker to a similar deal that Tabata will be playing under. While a final agreement is not near, the two sites have had advanced talks, team and league sources told the Tribune-Review.

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, talks stalled with center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who is already one of the best center fielders in the game and would certainly charge a higher price to sign a long-term deal. While it's not known how much McCutchen is asking for, it's possible he won't be as willing to trade future earnings for cost-certainty, or that the Pirates feel a long-term deal at a higher cost is beneficial.

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Posted on: June 26, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2011 2:23 pm

Tabata leaves with quad injury

By Matt Snyder

Pirates left fielder Jose Tabata departed the game in the first inning Sunday after beating out a bunt for a hit. After stepping on the bag, he immediately pulled up lame and eventually had to be carted off the field with a left quad injury. He'll undergo further tests Monday. Though the severity of the injury is unknown, there's a good indication it's bad enough to land Tabata on the disabled list. That indication would be that outfielder Alex Presley was pulled out of the Triple-A Indianapolis lineup immediately after Tabata's injury (MLB.com via Twitter) -- which signals he'll be recalled as Tabata is placed on the DL.

Presley was hitting .336 with eight homers, 36 RBI, 52 runs, 18 steals and an .889 OPS in Triple-A.

Losing Tabata for a length of time would be a blow to the Pirates. They're right in the thick of the NL Central race as we near the season's halfway point and Tabata is their leadoff hitter. He entered Sunday with a .349 on-base percentage, 14 steals and 39 runs scored. If he's out for any length of time, some combination of Garrett Jones, Matt Diaz and Presley are likely the corner outfielders. The Pirates might have to do some lineup shuffling. There really isn't another good leadoff option, unless Clint Hurdle wants to just throw Presley in there.

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Posted on: May 9, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 9:03 pm

Pirates reach .500, eye bright future


By Evan Brunell

The Pittsburgh Pirates finishing .500? There's a whole generation of baseball fans that don't understand that concept, but that's exactly where the Bucs find themselves at just over one month into the season.

Now 17-17, Pittsburgh will look to go one game over .500 as they face the Dodgers Monday night. If it can pull that off, it will be the first time since May 29, 2004 that the club was over .500 this late in a season. Unfortunately, 2004's squad finished with 89 losses and the ensuing years saw an even worse decline, so that statistic doesn't mean that the club has made any type of progress.

But when you look at 2004's club against 2011's, it's clear that progress has been made.

Back then, the Pirates weren't as young a club, although many were still under 30 years of age. Some ended up with good seasons, with a 26-year-old Jack Wilson slashing .308/.335/.459 with 41 doubles, which remains his best year to date. Craig Wilson at age 27 cranked 29 homers but never again approached these levels and was out of baseball after 2007. Most of the other hitters with one notable exception in Jason Bay have gone on to vanish or barely cling to relevancy (Jason Kendall and Ty Wigginton).

The pitching side of the ledger had a fantastic year by Oliver Perez and Kris Benson's solid 20-start stint prior to being traded to the Mets hide what was a poor staff that was shored up by a strong bullpen. All told, while the team was relatively young, it was only as good as it was thanks to the performances of five players, four of which never approached 2004 levels again.

It's a different story in 2011, with a much younger club. That's not reflected in the average age of the squads as 2011's 27.9 average age is higher than 2004's 27.45, but the Pirates boast a yonger core with the potential to be among the game's best. The bullpen has been effective to start the year  and the rotation is deeper than 2004's counterparts. That may come as an oddity when Kevin Correia is the ace of the club, but it's no less true. Offensively, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker form a quartet that 2004's club can't hold a candle to.

For the Pirates to sustain their newfound dominance, however, they have to step up their prospect procurement. This is a team that is thin on pitching and saw that partly addressed in last season's draft with the selections of Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, but still has an overall farm that Baseball America ranked 19th last season, largely due to the graduations of the offensive core. Compare that to 2004's ranking of 11, topped by Zach Duke and a host of other pitchers that failed to ascend.

It's no wonder that the 2004 club dipped to 89 losses, and as promising as 2011's club is, Pittsburgh will have to look ahead toward next year as a more realistic chance of breaking the streak of futility. It is difficult to envision Correia continuing to pitch to a 2.91 ERA, and as interesting as Charlie Morton's progress is, a regression has to be expected until (and if) he fixes his control problems, which he took a step forward in doing so in his last start by allowing only one free pass. And while James McDonald can be counted on to improve, it'll be balanced out by Jeff Karstens's probable regression.

For Pittsburgh to have any hope at finishing at .500, it will come from an offense ranked 22nd in runs scored so far. The entire infield plus Tabata and McCutchen are off to quite a slow start. Their expected improvement could offset pitching regression, but the other issue at play is Pittsburgh's division counterparts. Now that Milwaukee has its top three starting pitchers healthy and contributing, so their 14-20 record will turn around in a hurry and that's bad news for the Pirates given the imbalanced schedule that pits Pittsburgh against its NL compatriots for the majority of the games. Thus, even if the offensive regrouping does offset the pitching, it's difficult to envision a .500 record being sustained, especially once injuries hit the pitching staff; the club has virtually no pitching to speak of in Triple-A which is a flaw that will get exposed at some point.

Still, the improvement in the Steel City has to lend a certain amount of optimism to its long-suffering fans, who would glady take any type of improvement even if it it's not an 81-81 record. While even 1997 and 1998's 83 loss-seasons look out of reach, the Pirates appear poised to post the franchise's best record since 2004, and could even go beyond. That will set up quite the storyline for next year, when the Pirates look to avoid 20 straight seasons of finishing under .500.

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PHOTO: Steve Pearce, No. 51 of the Pittsburgh Pirates, celebrates with teammate Neil Walker, No. 18, after Ryan Doumit, No. 41, hit a three-run home run against the Houston Astros during the game on May 8, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Posted on: April 20, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 5:38 pm

McCutchen takes leave of absence from Pirates

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Andrew McCutchenPirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been granted a leave of absence from the Pirates, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The Pirates have said McCutchen has gone home to deal with a personal matter, but would shed no more light on his situation or even how long he may be gone.

"That's really all we're going to share right now, out of respect to his privacy," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Jose Tabata will replace McCutchen in center field and Matt Diaz will start in left. Pittsburgh has games tonight and tomorrow night at Florida before returning to Pittsburgh for a series against the Nationals on Friday.

McCutchen is hitting .230/.356/.426 with three home runs this season. He was 0 for 4 in a 6-0 loss to the Marlins last night.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 6:05 pm

McCutchen gets back on track with 3-hit day

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Andrew McCutchen CINCINNATI -- Sitting on the couch in the visitor's clubhouse, Andrew McCutchen watched himself reach out and send a Logan Ondrusek pitch into center field, scoring the eventual game-winning run in the Pirates' 7-6 victory over the Reds on Sunday.

Behind him, Pittsburgh outfielder Matt Diaz asked him, "Who is that kid?"

"I don't know -- just got called up today," McCutchen deadpanned.

The player on the field Sunday looked nothing like the one that had just three hits in his previous eight games and was hitting .204. The guy wearing No. 22 at Great American Ball Park on Sunday couldn't make an out at the plate (he did get caught stealing), finishing 3 for 3 with two walks and led off the game with his third home run of the season before knocking in the winning run in the eighth inning and corralling the final out for a Pirate victory.

"It was just a mater of time," McCutchen said. "All I could do is laugh about it, because that's not me, it's not what I do. All I could do is laugh, because I knew it was going to turn around eventually and now it's starting to turn around and I feel good and we'll go from here."

In the early season rollercoaster of averaging stats, Sunday's small sample sized helped McCutchen raise his batting averaged .046 points -- "I wish you could do that throughout the season, it'd be nice," he said.

The way math works, though, it can be just as devastating. McCutchen knows that, hitting .389/.500/.833 after his first five games and .204/.328/.367 after 13 games. After the 14th, he was back to .250/.381/.462.

"Time will tell, but it was an awful good day for him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's been working hard and battling and believing in himself. Everything starts with a thought, no matter how bad the day, you always try to remember in this game you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are, and this kid's a good player."

McCutchen led off the game with a homer off of Reds starter Edinson Volquez and Jose Tabata then followed with another homer on the next pitch, marking just the third time in Pittsburgh history that Pirate batters have hit back-to-back homers to start a game.

"I smacked his hand, maybe that helped," McCutchen said. "Maybe it was electric energy or something."

That's exactly what McCutchen is for this Pirates team. He's electric -- if he's on, the team can be on.

The Pirates won three of their first five during his hot start, while they struggled when he saw his average drop from .389 to .196. In the team's six wins, he's hitting .320 with a .433 on-base percentage. The team has also won all three games in which he's homered. In a recent eight-game stretch that saw six losses, McCutchen was hitting just .097/.222/.097.

That leadoff home run on Sunday was just the burst of energy the Pirates needed, adding three more runs in the opening frame.

"A home run, a hit or getting on base with a  walk, whatever -- if I can start the game off by helping the team out by not making an out, it definitely makes me feel good about the coming at-bats," McCutchen said.

It also makes his team feel good about their chances.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am

Another bad first for Volquez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Edinson Volquez For just the third time in the 130 years of Pittsburgh baseball history, the Pirates (and Alleghenys) led off a game with back-to-back home runs on Sunday. It was the second time this season Edinson Volquez has allowed back-to-back homers to lead off a game.

Sunday it was Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata who went back-to-back. Volquez also gave up back-to-back shots to Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez of the Brewers on opening day.

So far this season Volquez has allowed 13 first-inning runs and the Reds are 3-0 in games he's started. Sunday Volquez not only allowed the two home runs, but also gave up a double and walked three, allowing four runs as the Pirates batted around. Volquez then settled down, holding the PIrates without a run in their next four innings, until exiting following a Garrett Jones homer and a walk to Ronny Cedeno in the fifth. Reliever Jordan Smith allowed a double to pinch hitter John Bowker to score the run and close the book on Volquez. His final line was 5 2/3 innings, five hits, six runs (all earned), six walks and six strikeouts. He earned a no-decision in the Reds' 7-6 loss to the Pirates.

Volquez's first-inning ERA is 29.25 this season, while it's just 1.93 in every other inning.

The Reds' 27-year-old right-hander is 2-0 so far this season, winning his last two outings. Here's what he's done in the first inning of his four starts this season:

• March 31, 7-6 Reds victory over Milwaukee: 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk
• April 6, 12-4 victory over Houston: 4 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks
• April 11, 3-2 victory over San Diego: 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batter
• April 17, 7-6 loss to Pittsburgh: 4 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com