Here are some evening updates after the Pirates game against the Tigers, with several injury notes, and a few positional notes.
**Jose Tabata left tonight’s game after fouling a ball off his ankle. He left the game during the at-bat, and was carted off the field mid-inning. After the game, Clint Hurdle said that he had X-rays, which came back negative, and that he had a left ankle contusion.
**Andrew McCutchen is still out of the lineup with what has been described as lower body soreness. Hurdle said he felt better today and went through a full workout.
“He’s making progress,” Hurdle said. McCutchen said last week that he would be playing right now if this was the regular season.
**Chris Stewart, who is dealing with a hamstring problem, has seen no progress yet in his recovery. “I wouldn’t say there’s any progress right now. We’re probably in a holding pattern,” Hurdle said.
**Switching over to non-injury news, Jung-ho Kang will get some time at second base before the weekend. Kang has already played shortstop and third base, and now the Pirates will get him work at the final position. Hurdle has said from day one that they feel Kang can be an option off the bench this year at all three positions.
**Casey Sadler pitched an inning in relief tonight, five days after getting hit around as a starter for the first time this Spring. Hurdle said that Sadler wasn’t being moved to the bullpen yet.
“He’s still being prepared as a starter,” Hurdle said. “We’re just running out of innings and opportunity for some guys at this level.”
With that last note, you can probably expect some cuts from the pitching staff to come soon.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
When I was down last week, Tony Sanchez looked like he was the best hitter on the team. His bat really looks strong this year. If his defense has improved like they say it has, then I think he will have a big year.
One more note: The foul that injured Tabata’s ankle was his hardest hit ball since 2013.
Can I give more than one up arrow?
At least Tabby pulled the ball, amiright?
I was at Tuesday’s game at Bradenton and he pulled two hard shots, one for a hit just left of the third baseman and the other the third baseman went to his right and made a great play on. Very encouraging to see.
Let’s just hope that the extra downtime helps cutch avoid the slow start that not only plagued him but most of the team last year. Having a hot opening month would certainly be a big plus for the pirates this year if for no other reason than to be a big confidence boost, i’ve gotta think it would be a lot less stressful to the team to have a lead in the division rather than playing catch-up all season.
VIDEO – Tabata being carted off field. -> http://youtu.be/uJwl0w9xbmc
VIDEO – Tabata fouling ball off his foot. -> http://youtu.be/DKfcVT3Hb74
Hate to say it but Chris Stewart can take all the time in the world to get his hammy better. He can open the season on the DL like last year and have Tony Sanchez in his place again. Last year, Tony Sanchez was their best hitter the first couple weeks of the season. He looks like he’s in a good groove hitting-wise again.
VIDEO – Sanchez 2 run HR Wednesday,. -> http://youtu.be/1adyNJ-vwtk
Devils advocate, but its also possible with the team seeming to want to get starters more time off to keep them fresh that Sanchez gets starts early on. And if his defense isnt fully fixed, thats a big problem. If Stewart finds his way to the DL to start the year, pray Cervelli stays healthy and starts a bunch. Love the ST from Sanchez, but count me as wanting to see some AAA play before loving him as the backup C.
Exactly. Tony has had very good camp but not sure I am ready to assume his throwing issues are “fixed”. Would like to see evidence of that in aaa but looks like he has good chance of coming north now.
With the news of the Stewart injury, Tony is almost a lock on OD. I dont mean to sound negative on him, because his defense has looked fine all ST. Tony is a fine option at backup C, but i worry a bit still with how he will react in game with his throws.