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Jose Tabata Returns, Pedro Alvarez Optioned

Pirates' third baseman Pedro Alvarez is heading back to Triple-A Indianapolis. The former first-round pick was optioned Tuesday to make room for the return of outfielder Jose Tabata, resident of the disabled list since June, on the Pirates' 25-man roster.

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The demotion for Alvarez comes after a second disappointing stint with the big club this season. Since being recalled July 25, he has hit just .174 and has severely lacked the power he showed in 2010, when he hit 16 home runs after his June call-up.

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Alvarez will probably finish out the Triple-A season with the Indians. After that, he'll likely return to Pittsburgh as a September call-up. For now, though, with Tabata and Alex Presley set to return, cutting Alvarez's dead weight production loose was really the only logical move the Pirates could make.

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Tabata hit .333 in a rehab assignment with Indianapolis, posting 11 hits in 33 at-bats, including six doubles.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.