Jose Tabata Gets Another Chance
As reported by Rob Biertempfel here:
Jose Tabata has been called up from the Pirates AAA affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians, today to replace Wilfredo Boscan who was sent back down to Indianapolis. In order to make room for Jose on the 40 man roster, the Pirates Justin Sellers has been placed on the 60 Day DL. Due to his past appearances in the majors and his spring training performance, I have to wonder, Is this call up an attempt to wake up a struggling offense and bench? Or, Is this a case of the organization bringing Tabata up while his bat is hot to showcase him and make him a bargaining chip in trade talks?
Jose Tabata has appeared in 28 games and brings a pretty impressive stat line with him, .352/.422/.396 with an OPS of .819. In 102 plate appearances, Tabata has 32 hits, 11 walks and has only struck out 8 times. The call up seems well deserved on paper. However, his power is lacking, he hasn’t hit a single home run since he led off with a blast to left field of Mat Latos on September 20th, 2013. Just a brief look at his career stats with the Pirates, he has spent time in the majors over a period of 5 years. He is a career .275/.336/.379 hitter who has had 1,724 plate appearances. He has 427 hits, 127 walks and 247 strikeouts. Of course, a familiar face will have many fans jumping on board the call up. And who knows, maybe Tabata will come up and provide a spark off the bench. I would recommend that we don’t put the cart before the horse, let’s wait and see how his hitting of AAA pitching translates to the Major League level, again.
However, many fans have already kissed “Neck Lips” days as a Bucco goodbye. As Rum Bunter editor Jason Rollison posted recently:
"“The Pittsburgh Pirates must trade Tabata. Now. Yesterday. Last week.”"
This call up comes just 9 days after Neil Huntington’s
quote that was posted on Hardball Talk
"“We were aggressive with [Tabata] in what we believe he needed to do to in order to get back to the big leagues,” Huntington said. “And he is working hard to make that adjustment and as important, he is playing hard and showing up every at bat. We have been very open with Jose that while we hope his return to the big leagues with us, he is a guy who may need to get somebody else’s attention and have somebody come get him. If that happens we will be happy for him.”"
The call up has all of the signs of a call up to showcase a player, who is playing well, for potential trade targets. Any potential trade partner can see what he is doing at the AAA level, but they want to know how he will transition to the Major League level. Tabata providing some much needed help off the bench for a few days or even weeks will not only help his trade value but also his future career in Major League Baseball.
In closing, no matter which reason the Pirates have called Tabata up, if he can help the offense score more runs, he will be earning his salary that he’s been collecting while at Indy. Just keep in mind that unlike his “neck lips” tatoo, his stay with the Pirates is not likely permanent and he could be moved before the trade deadline.