The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-instated outfielder Jose Tabata from the 15-day disabled list, and have optioned third baseman Pedro Alvarez to AAA. Prior to his injury, Tabata was batting for a .265 average with a .705 OPS in 257 at-bats in the majors this year. In his rehab work with Indianapolis, he hit for a .333 average in 33 at-bats, while also getting time in at right field.
The demotion of Alvarez isn’t a big surprise. The third baseman is hitting for a .196 average with a .548 OPS this year. He was recalled in late July, but has hit for a .174 average and a .476 OPS since his return, with 25 strikeouts in 69 at-bats.
Alvarez was recalled prior to spending 20 days on optional assignment, which meant he avoided using his third and final option. This demotion will trigger that option, leaving him with zero options after the season. However, because Alvarez has used all three options, and has spent less than five years in pro ball, he will qualify for a fourth option, which can be used at any time in his career. He will likely spend the rest of the 2011 season in AAA, and it will be interesting to see if he returns when rosters expand in September. Next year he will have one option, in the event that he continues his struggles and doesn’t get back on track.