Dec 19, 2011, 9:45 PM EDT
Tabata received clearance from doctors while he was in Pittsburgh for the Pirates’ caravan and PirateFest events and immediately began hitting in the indoor cage.
“I was a little nervous because I wanted to feel good,” Tabata said. “Now, I am feeling pretty good. I’m ready to roll.”
Tabata also dealt with quad and hamstring injuries this past season, batting .266/.349/.362 with four home runs, 21 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .711 OPS over 382 plate appearances. The speedy 23-year-old agreed to a long-term contract with the Pirates in August which could keep him with the club through 2019.
The Pirates brought former All-Star Nate McLouth back on a one-year deal earlier this month, but they currently project to have Tabata, Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley in their starting outfield next season.
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