Pirates GM Neal Huntington sounds like he’d prefer to trade Jose Tabata

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Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata has spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Indianapolis and has done a decent job thus far, batting .338/.416/.397. And though the Pirates could use another outfielder capable of contributing on offense, it doesn’t sound like they’re considering calling him up anytime soon.

In fact, according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, GM Neal Huntington sounds like he’d prefer to find a trade partner for Tabata:

“We were aggressive with [Tabata] in what we believe he needed to do to in order to get back to the big leagues,” Huntington said. “And he is working hard to make that adjustment and as important, he is playing hard and showing up every at bat.

“We have been very open with Jose that while we hope his return to the big leagues with us, he is a guy who may need to get somebody else’s attention and have somebody come get him. If that happens we will be happy for him.”

Tabata was once a well-regarded prospect, both before and after coming to Pittsburgh in the Xavier Nady trade with the Yankees in July 2008. However, in 1,724 career major league plate appearances, he has posted an OPS just below the league average after adjusting for league and park effects, and has compiled only 2.1 total Wins Above Replacement over parts of five seasons, according to Baseball Reference. Average players, despite the description, do have value and are tough to come by, but Tabata has not met the lofty expectations set when he came up through the Yankees’ system.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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