DENVER, CO - Jose Tabata #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on after striking out against starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin #45 of the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Less than one year ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates gave a six-year extension to Jose Tabata with several option years tacked onto the end. The idea was that if Tabata became a useful regular, he'd be locked up at below-market rates. At the time, Tabata was already a fairly useful player, and he was just 22. Seemed like a hard contract to dislike.
But the qualifier up there is important. Useful. Which Tabata has not been this year, not in the slightest:
After a half-season, the Pirates figured out he wasn't going to help himself or the team in the majors:
The contending Pirates could really, really, really use a productive outfielder, but Tabata wasn't the answer this year. Unfortunately, Hernandez probably isn't either, as he's a year older than Tabata, but he wasn't hitting that much better than Tabata in Triple-A.
Hernandez and Drew Sutton will likely pick up the bulk of Tabata's at-bats.