Jose Tabata, who hurt his left leg last Sunday in the 10-4 win vs. Chicago, is still in the lineup on a daily basis despite his injury. He left the game and was listed as day-to-day, but insisted on playing Monday afternoon vs. Cincinnati. Tabata has played every game since, but is batting just .182 (4 for 22) in those six starts. Manager Clint Hurdle said, “We’re trying to get the kid to play through an injury.”
It really does not make sense for the Pirates to force Tabata to play, especially in a role that requires speed. A leg injury is obviously not ideal for a leadoff hitter, and he’s also shown difficulties tracking down balls in the outfield. Hurdle seems reluctant to start Gorkys Hernandez, as he has appeared mostly as a defensive replacement. Gorkys has made just one start since being recalled on May 18th.
Meanwhile, Alex Presley continues to crush the ball at Triple-A Indianapolis. He hit his 5th home run on Sunday afternoon, and is hitting .323 in his last ten games. It seems like Presley’s swing and confidence are both back.
With Tabata battling through his injury, it makes sense for Presley to get recalled. There is no reason to keep pushing Tabata, especially when he isn’t producing that much anyway. Putting him out there every day with a bad leg is not going to pull up his production and an average of near .220 is not going to cut it. Bringing back Presley could benefit both players. For Presley, you can immediately insert him back into the leadoff spot after being on a hot streak in AAA. For Tabata, you give him some time off to regain his speed and hopefully he can come back strong. Now seems to be a good time to get Presley back in Pittsburgh. We’ll see how the Pirates handle the situation.