Tabata's contract was selected from Indianapolis on Tuesday, and right-hander Wilfredo Boscan was optioned to the Triple-A team.
Tabata, who has a $4 million salary, was hitting .352 with no homers and four RBIs in 28 games at Indianapolis. He batted .438 in his past 14 games.
The 26-year-old is in the fifth season of a $15 million, six-year contract that includes three club options. He has hit .275 with 17 homers and 47 steals in five seasons with the Pirates.
Boscan was called up from Indianapolis on Saturday, a day after the Pirates used eight pitchers in a 12-inning loss at the Chicago Cubs, but did not appear in any games.