Pittsburgh Pirates: All Time ”Flash in the Pan” Team
Outfield: Jose Tabata
The 2010 Pirates were not good. In spite of their 57 wins, however, there was hope for the future. Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Jose Tabata were three rookies who looked to lead the Bucs back to prominence. I pose a question to my fellow fans; If somebody had told you, in 2010, that 2/3 of ”The Calvary” (as Rocco DeMaro called them) would not pan out anywhere near as planned and the club would still experience a Renaissance over the next five years, would you have believed them? My guess would be no, but that is indeed what happened.
Acquired from the Yankees as part of a massive hull that the Pittsburgh received in exchange for outfielder Xavier Nady, Tabata was a blue chip prospect of whom big things were expected. He made his Major League debut on June 9th, 2010 in Washington DC, and his rookie campaign was solid. In 2010, Tabata’s slash line was .299/.346/.400. In my opinion, Tabata’s career began to go downhill on June 26th, 2011. Here, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at PNC Park, Tabata beat out a bunt single to lead off the Bottom of the 1st against the Boston Red Sox. Unfourtanly, the hit came with a price, as Tabata suffered a left quad strain and was carted off the field, resulting in a stint on the 15-day DL.
Shortly after Tabata’s return from injury, he was greeted with a 6-year contract extension. After he signed on the dotted line, ”neck lips” was never able to become the superstar that we had all hoped. Over the remainder of his Pirates career, Tabata would be no more than a 4th outfielder for the bulk of the time. There is also evidence that Jose landed himself in Clint Hurdle’s doghouse, as fans were puzzled as to why Tabata would riding the pine for inferior outfielders such as Jaff Decker.
Some of Tabata’s downfall was due to laziness, some due to lack of opportunity. Regardless, Tabata’s career in the City of Bridges was underwhelming.