Pirates option Alvarez to Triple-A
The Pittsburgh Pirates activated slugging third baseman Pedro
Alvarez from the disabled list on Saturday and immediately optioned
him to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Alvarez, the 2008 No. 2 overall draft pick who was in his first
full major league season, had been on the disabled list since May
20 with a right quadriceps strain.
”Pedro remains a big part of our future,” general manager Neal
Huntington said, ”but we believe making this move is the best way
to get him back on track offensively and defensively so that he can
help us win games at the major league level.”
Alvarez was hitting .208 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 36
games this season after hitting 16 home runs in 347 at-bats as a
rookie last season.
The 24-year-old Alvarez had 11 strikeouts and two extra-base
hits (both doubles) in 33 at bats over 11 games with Class A
Bradenton and Indianapolis as part of his rehabilitation
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said the organization wanted to
take the pressure of returning to the majors off of Alvarez and
have him focus solely on improving.
”We needed a volume of at-bats strung together that has noting
to do with home runs, OPS, slugging percentage,” Hurdle said.
”Where (Alvarez is) squaring the ball up hard and hitting it where
it’s pitched. That’s what we want (him) to focus on.”
Brandon Wood and rookies Josh Harrison and Chase d’Arnaud have
been splitting the playing time at third base with Alvarez out.
Alvarez has been one of the centerpieces of the Pirates’ latest
rebuilding effort. Mired in a string of 18 consecutive losing
seasons and coming off 105 losses last season, Pittsburgh (46-42)
has had its best pre-All-star break record since 1992.
But it’s been mostly pitching that has the Pirates within a game
of first place as play began Saturday. The team ranks 12th in the
National League in runs, 13th in home runs and 15th in slugging
percentage. Alvarez is one of the few pure power hitters in the