Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/4/12

The Pittsburgh Pirates finally ran out of ways to ask Jose Tabata to pick it up. So they told him to pack it up and hit the road.

Tabata, an everyday outfielder for the better part of the last three seasons, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday in a move aimed at sending a stern message that his lack of effort wasn't going to be tolerated.

"The talking part is over," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've worked through this about as far as we can."

Tabata, 24, was among the top rookies in Major League Baseball upon arrival in 2010, but he was batting .230 with a .295 on-base percentage, and he'd been caught stealing a major-league-leading nine times in 17 attempts. He wasn't hitting hard, running hard or even playing hard on defense.

One example of many that stood out came Saturday in St. Louis, where Tabata let a bloop single drop in front of him while Jeff Karstens was pitching in 104-degree heat into the sixth inning. That couldn't have been popular with anyone involved.

Tabata had picked it up at the plate lately, with six hits in his last 18 at-bats, but that didn't trump the larger issue.

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