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Jose Tabata benched for not hustling

May 18, 2012, 8:24 PM EST

Jose Tabata Getty Getty Images

Jose Tabata is not in the Pirates’ starting lineup tonight against the Tigers. But it’s not your routine day of rest. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the young outfielder was benched for not hustling last night against the Nationals.

Tabata botched a pair of plays in left field, but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was most concerned with his failure to bust it down the line on a tapper in front of the plate which resulted in an inning-ending double play in the top of the ninth.

“We’ve seen it happen a couple of times,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “They understand here that when that happens, there’s something else that’s going to happen: You’re going to sit with me and watch.”

“He understands there was a lesson to be learned,” Hurdle said. “He had a rough night all over the board. It happens sometimes to young players. Sometimes they need (to regain) focus. He understands the importance he carries at the top of the lineup, the intensity he’s got to play with.”

Hurdle had a closed-door chat with Tabata prior to tonight’s game. Assuming the message was received, he should be back in there tomorrow.

Like many of the Pirates’ hitters, Tabata is off to a slow start this season. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .235/.284/.356 with two homers, six RBI, five stolen bases and a .640 OPS through 140 plate appearances. He agreed to an extension last August which will keep him with the club through 2016 and includes options through 2019, so the Pirates are counting on him to be a major part of their future.

  1. danaking - May 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    I was at the game Thursday night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a major league player have a worse game than did Tabata.

  2. Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Tabata hot-dogged a play during the Feesh game a few nights ago – he was off in neverland somewhere on a fly ball and when he realized it was heading right at him it was too late for him to do anything but block it from bouncing past. The Feesh announcers had a few choice comments for his game head that night too. With an attention span like that, this guy might be better off as a bureaucrat than a ballplayer.

  3. bigleagues - May 19, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    Tabata is off to a slow start this season. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .235/.284/.356 with two homers, six RBI, five stolen bases and a .640 OPS through 140 plate appearances.

    Hot-dogging and poor game aside, Tabata did Start the season slowly by going 4 for his first 36.

    However since then, over the past 30 days: he has produced .281 AVG, .448 SLG, 6 Dbl, 2 Trpl, 2 HR, 3 SB, 16 Runs.

    Not great, but certainly not as awful as his total season numbers might suggest.

  4. joewilliesshnoz - May 19, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Josecanusee him getting traded by the all star break .

    • biasedhomer - May 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      If he continues to lack heart, they would be wise to shop him. They can get some nice talent back for him. No point keeping around a bad apple.

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