In a corresponding roster move, the Pirates recalled outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.
Tabata has struggled this season as the Pirates regular right fielder. The 23-year-old has only hit at a clip of .230/.295/.341 with 19 extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and 32 runs scored over his 252 at-bats.
The Pirates were hoping for more from Tabata this year, after signing the outfielder to a contract extension last August. Tabata’s new deal runs through the 2016 season and provides him with $14.74 million in guaranteed money. His contract includes club options of $6.5, $7.5 and $8.5 million in 2017, ’18 and ’19.
The Pirates acquired Hernandez in 2009 in the trade that sent Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves. The 24-year-old made his major league debut earlier this season, collecting two hits over his 10 at-bats for the club.
Hernandez has spent most of the season playing for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate. Over his 224 at-bats, he maintained a line of .268/.364/.362.
Were the Pirates right to demote Tabata?