Recent News

Gerrit Cole to Start Saturday Vs. New York Mets

June 25th, 2014 at 9:37 PM
By Allan Smith

Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole will come off of the disabled list and start Saturday's game against the New York Mets. He had been on the disabled list since June 8 with right shoulder fatigue.

The team has yet to make a decision on who Cole will replace, whether it be Vance Worley, Brandon Cumpton or Jeff Locke, all of whom have pitched exceptionally in recent starts.

"I'll give you this: Cole's starting Saturday," Clint Hurdle said. "We're in discussions now about what that'll do to the rotation. We'll have those discussions starting tomorrow, and we'll get you updated on what we have. There's a lot of possibilities. I don't want to lead into anything. I don't have any thoughts along those lines."

Cole is 6-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 12 starts this season. He tossed a six-inning, 84-pitch simulated game at Tropicana Field Monday in preparation to come off the disabled list.

Worley and Cumpton will start the first two games of the series against the New York Mets Thursday and Friday.

Information from Pirates.com

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Pittsburgh Pirates Decide to Demote Jose Tabata After Activating Neil Walker

June 24th, 2014 at 11:43 PM
By Allan Smith

The choice was clear for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as either Travis Snider or Jose Tabata was getting the axe after Neil Walker was reinstated from the disabled list.

'Jose Tabata' photo (c) 2014, Patrick Reddick - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Clearly, the Pirates favor Snider.

The team demoted Tabata to Triple-A Indianapolis before Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Although Tabata had a higher average, and larger contract, than Snider, the latter had hit for more power, was a better pinch-hitter and is left-handed to boot, something the Pirates need coming off the bench when the team faces a right-handed starter.

However, Tabata's demotion may be short-lived. In the fifth inning of Tuesday's game, Starling Marte was removed with concussion-like symptoms after sliding headfirst into the knee of Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez. He could see time on the special 7-day concussion disabled list, and Tabata would be eligible to be recalled immediately.

If Marte does hit the DL, look for Josh Harrison to continue receiving starts in the outfield while Snider and Tabata come off the bench for a Pirates team that just crossed the right side of the .500 line for the first time since mid-April.

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Neil Walker to Rejoin Pittsburgh Pirates in Tampa

June 22nd, 2014 at 11:22 PM
By Allan Smith

Neil Walker is set to come off the disabled list at some point during an interleague series with the Tampa Bay Rays that starts Monday, and a tough roster move will have to be made as a result.

'Neil Walker' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Walker has been rehabbing with Class-A Bradenton in preparation for the series. He was placed on the disabled list following a June 9 appendectomy, and is eligible to be activated Tuesday.

The move will push Josh Harrison to the bench — although with his hot hitting, he is sure to find time in the lineup filling in for Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and the starting outfield on scheduled days off.

Once the Pittsburgh-born second baseman is activated, the Pirates will be left with a difficult choice. They will have to send someone packing from the roster, and the two most likely candidates are Jose Tabata, who is hitting for a high average with no power, or Travis Snider, who has done well off the bench, although he has performed poorly in extended playing time. Nevertheless, the Pirates will have to part with a productive bench player.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Complete Trade for Ike Davis

June 15th, 2014 at 2:17 PM
By Allan Smith

The Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets completed the Ike Davis trade Sunday with the Bucs sending last year's second-round pick Blake Taylor, a pitcher, to New York.

'Ike Davis' photo (c) 2014, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Taylor was the Pirates second-round pick, 51st overall, in last year's draft. The Collective Bargaining Agreement prevents teams from trading drafted players within their first year in an organization, so the Pirates and Mets had to wait until after the one-year mark, which was last week.

Davis was traded to the Pirates for 26-year-old right-hander Zack Thornton, who has a 4.72 ERA in 23 appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas, and a player to be named later, who turned out to be Taylor. So far this season, Taylor has a 2.57 ERA with a 5.6 K/9 and a 3.9 BB/9 for the Gulf Coast League Pirates.

Since arriving in Pittsburgh, Davis has a .252 average with a .355 OBP and a .736 OPS while splitting time at first base with Gaby Sanchez.

Prior to the 2013 draft, Taylor was ranked the 40th-best prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, 55th by Baseball America and 61st by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.

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Vance Worley Scratched from Friday Start, Could Replace Francisco Liriano on Sunday

June 13th, 2014 at 5:28 PM
By Allan Smith

Vance Worley has been scratched from his Friday start for Triple-A Indianapolis, according to CBSSports.com

'Vance Worley' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The obvious conclusion is that Worley was scratched so that he can start for the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday in the place of Francisco Liriano, who was sent to the 15-day disabled list earlier this week with a left oblique strain, although the team has yet to confirm.

Worley is 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA in seven starts for Indianapolis, although he has a much better 1.10 WHIP and a 10.75 K/BB rate, as he has allowed just four walks all season.

He has extensive experience at the Major League level with the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins, as he owns a career mark of 19-18 with a 4.05 ERA in parts of four seasons. His most successful year came in 2011, when he finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting while with the Phillies. He pitched to an 11-3 record with a 3.01 ERA.

Most recently, he was quite awful with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, going 1-5 in 10 starts with an eye-popping 7.21 ERA.

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