The Pirates optioned Tom Gorzelanny and Jose Tabata to minor league camp today. It is surprising to see Gorzelanny demoted so early, as I expected he would end up as the team’s fifth starter. I assumed Jeff Karstens would be the odd man out of the rotation, but he looks like the most likely candidate to join Paul Maholm, Ian Snell, Zach Duke and Ross Ohlendorf. Chuck Finder also mentions Virgil Vazquez as a contender for the rotation, though I would be shocked if that happens. I wonder if there is a trade or a free agent signing on the horizon.
Tabata wrapped up a very successful spring with a line of .407/.500/.556. He leaves major league camp on a high note, going 2 for 4 against the Yankees yesterday. Tabata looked very comfortable at the plate in the televised game against the Rays, the only time I caught a glimpse of him during camp. It was the first time I had seen him since I made it to an Altoona game last August. At the time, Tabata seemed a little out of sync at times. You could tell he was among players that were much older and experienced. I didn’t see that on Monday. He looked like a major league player, at just 20 years old. It is difficult not to get excited about that.