By: Chris Gates

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — It’s no secret right now. Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata is struggling.

In 69 games, he’s hitting just .226 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. He was benched Thursday, and in his previous three games was just 3 for 13 from the plate with two errors.

The stats don’t necessarily do his entire performance justice. There have been mental lapses in both the batters box and the outfield.

According to the Tribune-Review’s Karen Price, Clint Hurdle thinks Tabata’s biggest problem is his attitude.

“One thing you can bring every day is your attitude and your effort. I demand that, and I think we’ve had some disconnects with that,” Hurdle told the Tribune-Review. “I think, subconsciously in Jose’s case, there is a fear of reinjuring himself. But it’s like a pitcher worrying about his shoulder. If you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to get hurt. You have to play. We’ve talked about it. The talking part is over. He needs to play. We’ve worked through this about as far as we can. It’s time.”

Hurdle reportedly went on to say that Tabata could be looking at a demotion to Triple-A Indianapolis if things don’t turn around.

Drew Sutton started in place of Tabata in left field. Sutton went 1 for 3 with a run scored. In his last three games since joining the Pirates, Sutton is 4 for 8 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Chris Gates | Bucs Blog

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