Clearly, the Pirates favor Snider.
The team demoted Tabata to Triple-A Indianapolis before Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Although Tabata had a higher average, and larger contract, than Snider, the latter had hit for more power, was a better pinch-hitter and is left-handed to boot, something the Pirates need coming off the bench when the team faces a right-handed starter.
However, Tabata's demotion may be short-lived. In the fifth inning of Tuesday's game, Starling Marte was removed with concussion-like symptoms after sliding headfirst into the knee of Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez. He could see time on the special 7-day concussion disabled list, and Tabata would be eligible to be recalled immediately.
If Marte does hit the DL, look for Josh Harrison to continue receiving starts in the outfield while Snider and Tabata come off the bench for a Pirates team that just crossed the right side of the .500 line for the first time since mid-April.
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