Report: Pirates Won’t Allow Jose Tabata to Play Winter Ball

The other day in the Winter League recap from Tuesday, I mentioned that Jose Tabata was on the roster of Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan League. It was mentioned earlier in the off-season that Tabata most likely will not play, though nothing was definite at the time. Today I came across an article (link is in Spanish) that confirms the Pirates will not allow Jose Tabata to play Winter Ball this year.

Tabata’s agent¬†Carlos Rios, posted recently on Twitter that the Pirates confirmed to him that Tabata won’t be allowed to play and Rios was quoted as saying “We respect the decision of the Pirates but we totally disagree. Tabata needs to play to mature as a player.”

Between his time with the Pirates and his stint at Indianapolis this year, Tabata played 144 games, receiving a total of 547 plate appearances. This will mark the second year in a row that Tabata will not play Winter Ball.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • Richard Ya’Zhynka

    This leaves me wondering.

    – Was Tabata fully healthy last year?
    – Do the Pirates fear that he is injury prone?
    – Is it more important for him to work on conditioning than it is to play winter ball?

    • Lee Young

      all good questions…I wonder if anyone will find out.

  • beatembuccos21

    So, what is he doing instead? It’d be good if someone in the media questioned the front office on this.

  • Fred Langford

    I’m surprised the Pirate’s beat writer hasn’t gotten to the bottom of this. HA!!! Too busy finding the next useless fluff PR article.

  • jamesmvargo

    No kidding he won’t play, Winter League teams want to win too!

  • jlease717

    It appears the Pirates don’t want him spending the winter playing baseball in the warmth. This will assuredly toughen him up so that he’ll hit like a house a-fire in April in Pittsburgh.

    Assuming there is any actual rationale behind this.

    • Ian Rothermund

      If they are worried about his health…might do him to good to focus on conditioning and coming into camp at 100% in the spring. Athleticism and showing any kind of spark is the only way he’ll be able to retain any semblance of a starting position.

  • La Pirate

    i thnk the Pirates are intent on trading him and dont want him sustaining possible injury. I cant see any other reason for him not playing some. What did he bat .240?