Jose Tabata Struggling in Triple-A Since Demotion

The Pittsburgh Pirates demoted Jose Tabata to Triple-A in early July in order to reignite his game and to get him back on track. The organization got to a point during the season that they had enough of Tabata’s miscues in the field and struggles at the plate that they decided to send him to Indianapolis to get consistent reps, at-bats and games played.

Tabata, who back in 2010 hit for a .299 clip in his first season in Pittsburgh, had several sit down talks with Manager Clint Hurdle throughout the season due to his struggles at the plate — hitting for just a .230 average — and not playing 100 percent in the field.

And it wasn’t for a lack of effort from Tabata. The biggest issue for Tabata has been confusion, Hurdle said. There was just too much indecision going on, whether it be not getting a good move to the ball, backing off and allowing the ball to drop in, in the outfield, or indecision while in the box, and squaring up the bat.

“I think sometimes we get too much stuff going on upstairs,” Hurdle said. “When there is too much noise, too much clutter mentally, it can confuse a player.”

Hurdle said recently that he talks to Triple-A Manager Dean Treanor every day or so to get reports on how Tabata is progressing. But since the demotion, the bat hasn’t sparked for the outfielder and General Manager Neal Huntington said on Sunday that he’s been a struggle since reporting.

“I think he expected to go down there and swing the bat better than he has,” Huntington said. “He’s disappointed to be down there. He doesn’t want to be down there. Triple-A is a place that nobody wants to be if you’re a young player. You want to be in the big leagues. It’s a tough place to play. Dean does a tremendous job of keeping these guys motivated.”

Since joining Indianapolis, the outfielder has hit for a .273/.324/.318 line over 66 at-bats. Tabata started off struggling at the plate putting up a .244/.295/.268 line over his first 10 games, and has since hit .270 over his last 10.

“Jose is going through some growing pains,” Huntington said. “He’s a 23-year-old that expected to be a big part of this winning major league team — and he hasn’t been. He wants to get back here and we’re going through some frustrations from his end right now about how he’s playing.”

Tabata has a past with similar issues before being traded to Pittsburgh. He was a top prospect in the New York Yankees organization, but became available in the Xavier Nady trade in 2008 due to his struggles at the plate in Double-A that season, and some questions about his work ethic. Huntington said they are working hard with him, and believe that he could rejoin Pittsburgh again before the season is over.

“We’re working hard to getting him back on the right track,” Huntington said. “He can and should help us at some point this season, but he’s got to turn the corner.”

Kristy Robinson

Author: Kristy Robinson

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  • emjayinTN

    Tabata has played in 18 games at AAA. First 8 he was hitting in the .240′s; in his last 10 he is hitting .316 with an OBP of .381. He lost confidence in himself in the majors and seems to have relocated himself at AAA. Hopefully our front office will bring him up while he is on a hot streak like he is right now.

    • john.alcorn

      Nice to see you here Emj, still posting over at that CBS board?

  • F Lang

    Lastings Tabata or Jose Milledge? They are the same guy.

    • F Lang

      Milledge – .269/.328/.395/.723
      Tabata – .270/.334/.372/.707 Same guy except Tabata plays better defense. Can’t even really say Tabata runs better because Milledge has a career 67% steal rate and Tabata 65%. It could be said that Tabata is younger and still has upside. Milledge is 27, Tabata is listed at 24…but Tabata is probably 26 or 27 so that argument is out. Milledge 5’11″ 210, Tabata 5’11″ 215. Uncanny how similar they are.

      • mikez09

        there has only been speculation as to Tabata being older then 24. If you have some inside info please share because MLB has been unable to dispute his age but it seems you and your sources have the proof!

  • john.alcorn

    Not sure about your numbers Kristy, per MiLB.com he has hit .316/.381/.395 in his last 10 games with only 3K in 40 plate appearances. I would not call that struggling.He has reached base safely in all 10 games.

    • F Lang

      He is hitting better and I hope he figures it out. He also had 2 throwing errors in the same game the other day though and has 3 errors in 18 games. A .676 OPS is hardly good if you look at the overall picture. He has 1000 mlb AB. AAA should not be a major challenge for him. I hope he gets it together because we need him. But too little to late because we will be forced to make a deal first. Not what you want from a guy who signed a longterm deal.

  • F Lang

    Who here would try Marte before going with Tabata? I feel like Marte has been doing it all year and deserves a shot. I know it is tough to go with a rookie in a pennant race but it is working out for Anaheim and Washington.

  • F Lang

    D-Backs GM said he is near 100% that Upton will not be dealt. Must not be getting the big ticket offers he expected…Upton is playing a lot better lately. In a way I am relieved. I didn’t want to give up too much for him.