6/25/2014 12:11 A.M. ET
Bucs activate Walker, outright Tabata to Triple-A
By David Adler / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Pirates activated second baseman Neil Walker from the disabled list on Tuesday in advance of their 6-5 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Walker, who was recovering from an appendectomy, was in the starting lineup, batting cleanup and playing second. He went 0-for-3 and struck out in his first at-bat, but also drove in a run with a third-inning sacrifice fly.
"I had no problems," Walker said. "Just trying to get back in the rhythm of the game and game-speed stuff and getting my swing off and all that. So that was the biggest challenge."
He played nine innings for Class A Advanced Bradenton on Sunday and batted in a simulated game thrown by rehabbing starter Gerrit Cole on Monday. Walker was batting .280 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 62 games before going on the DL.
In the corresponding roster move, Pittsburgh outrighted outfielder Jose Tabata to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates had placed Tabata on waivers, which he cleared, enabling them to send him to the Minors.
"I think this was strictly a baseball move -- the best baseball move we could make for our team to be the best, most competitive team we could be moving forward," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Hurdle said that at this time, Josh Harrison is a better option for the team, as he is also a right-handed hitter and plays multiple positions, including the outfield.
Because Tabata has more than three years of Major League service time, he had the choice to accept or reject the assignment to Indianapolis, and he accepted it. Had he rejected the assignment, the Pirates would not have been responsible for the salary he is owed -- about $9 million through 2016.
Tabata was batting .289 in 62 games for the Bucs, but with Harrison and Gregory Polanco assuming the duties in right field, he had not been playing much recently.
"He knows he needs to play; he wants to play. As I encouraged him, this is a challenge," Hurdle said. "He's been a helpful player while he was here, the role that he was given he performed in a very professional matter. This is an opportunity, as it is, to go play, get more regular reps, get more at-bats."
Hurdle said that Tabata could certainly get another opportunity with the Pirates -- for example, if an injury sidelined one of their outfielders.
"Within the snap of a finger, the blink of an eye, the landscape could change here from a player personnel situation, whether it be injury or anything like that," Hurdle said.
Marte removed with concussion-like symptoms
ST. PETERSBURG -- Pirates left fielder Starling Marte left the Bucs' 6-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday with concussion-like symptoms after he slid headfirst into Tampa Bay second baseman Sean Rodriguez's knee.
"He had concussion-like symptoms, so we sent him to the hospital to get a CT scan. We haven't had any report back," manager Clint Hurdle said after the game.
With one out in the top of the fifth inning and the Bucs leading, 4-0, Marte tried to steal second off Chris Archer. Marte dove for the base as Rodriguez moved toward the bag to field catcher Jose Molina's throw, and Marte's head collided with Rodriguez's knee.
Marte, clearly in pain, was helped off the field by the Pittsburgh training staff, and Travis Snider took his place in left field in the bottom of the inning.
Marte was on base because of a rare interference call made on Gregory Polanco, who had been on first when Marte was batting. Marte hit a soft floater to Rays first baseman James Loney, and as Polanco went back to first to avoid being doubled up, he ran into Loney as he was attempting to make the catch.
First-base umpire Lance Barksdale immediately called interference, Polanco was declared out, and, by rule, Marte was sent to first base.
Marte had contributed to the Pirates' third-inning three-spot with an RBI single.
Bucs prospect Bell named to Futures Game roster
ST. PETERSBURG -- Pirates outfield prospect Josh Bell will represent the team at the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Bell, ranked the No. 6 prospect in the organization, is batting .335 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs in 70 games for the Class A Advanced Bradenton Marauders.
Bell is leading the Florida State League with 141 total bases, ranks second in slugging percentage (.518) and hits (91), is third in batting average and is tied for third in extra-base hits (29) and RBIs. He is also hitting .427 (32-for-75) with a 1.189 OPS in June.
The players on the Pirates' active roster who have been selected to past Futures Games are third baseman Pedro Alvarez (2009), pitcher Gerrit Cole (2012), pitcher Jason Grilli (1999), outfielder Andrew McCutchen (2008), outfielder Gregory Polanco (2013), second baseman Neil Walker (2006), pitcher Francisco Liriano (2002, '05), outfielder Starling Marte (2011), catcher Russell Martin (2005), pitcher Stolmy Pimentel (2010) and pitcher Edinson Volquez (2005).
The Futures Game features two teams of prospects, the U.S. Team and the World Team. It will take place at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13, at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club. Each Major League organization is represented, and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.
• Hurdle said rehabbing starter Gerrit Cole (right shoulder fatigue) feels fine after throwing a six-inning, 84-pitch simulated game Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The manager said the team would likely have an update on Cole on Wednesday.
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.