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Pedro Alvarez is a healthy scratch as the Pirates try to fix his throwing problems

Jul 30, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

Pedro Alvarez AP

Earlier this week Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked about looking into the “mental component” of Pedro Alvarez‘s throwing problems in an effort to get the third baseman back on track defensively. And now Alvarez is out of the lineup for a second straight day despite being healthy.

Josh Harrison is starting at third base and using the All-Star utility man there more often is the most obvious solution if Hurdle and the Pirates decide Alvarez isn’t fixable in the short term.

Not only has Alvarez committed an MLB-high 21 throwing errors among 23 total miscues, he’s hitting just .238 with a pedestrian .733 OPS and hasn’t homered since the All-Star break.

  1. bringbackkosar - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Except for not hitting and not fielding, he’s a helluva third baseman

    • ejheim62 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      he’s one of those very frustrating guys. When he’s off – which is maybe 85% of the time – his stat line usually 0-3 with 2 k’s and a walk. When he’s on, though, which ain’t often, he goes on streaks where he can homer in 5, 6 straight games and it looks almost effortless. Weird.

      • apkyletexas - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Plus, he proved in the playoffs last year, he can turn into a monster in October. He’s worth keeping around just to see if it continues.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        I see why he was given a chance at pro ball. a lot of talent and so much potential.

        he has over 2000 at bats now and over 2200 plate appearances

        he’s a career .236 hitter (well below league average)

        he’s a career .309% on base percentage (well below league average)

        he’s a career .437% slugging % which isn’t bad, average mlb slugging is .390% for all teams.

        but, the average slugging % for 3rd basemen is .453% so he is below average in slugging for the position he plays

        he’s way below average in fielding

        he’s below average in everything is what it amounts to.

        shouldn’t be hard to find a replacement who is at least league average in one of these categories as the guy he’d replace is BELOW ALL of the league averages.

  2. ejheim62 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Hmmm…..healthy scratch again right before the deadline. I wonder if…naw….they wouldn’t be thinking of using him in a trade, would they? With Harrison having a decent year?

    • fleaman1381 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      I was actually kind of hoping Alvarez to Boston for Lester…

      But yeah, 99.9% sure that wouldn’t happen.

      • ejheim62 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Boston isn’t that crazy. They”d probably want a sweetener with that slice of pie. Don’t do it, Neal!

        Although my biggest fear is that somehow the Pirates swing a deal or deals and bring back Byrd and Burnett. Lot of scuttlebutt about that happening. Don’t get me wrong, not bad players, but….we had ’em last year and didn’t make the W.S. They didn’t get any younger, so what would the point be?

      • fleaman1381 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        Oh, I’m perfectly aware it wouldn’t happen. But I’ve never really been a Pedro fan and wouldn’t mind using his power as trade bait. I’d rather see Harrison play every day at 3B. And I’d love to see a guy like Lester on the pitching staff. Though I think adding Josh Bell into the mix might help bring Lester to Pittsburgh.

        I seriously doubt them bringing Byrd back. The outfield is pretty good as is when Marte comes back. And I honestly don’t want Burnett back.

        I just want them to do SOMETHING. They’ve got to where they are by building up from within, but I think it’s time to grab a big name for that WS push. Then again, I’m a computer programmer and not a MLB GM.

  3. timmons94 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Amen kosar. Of course his agent Scott Boras will claim he is a 15-20 mill a year player… What a deal. Can’t hit lefties. Can’t field . Low batting avg… Sign me up . The anti Alex Gordon and Dustin ackley. Won’t make it in outfield like those 2 tireless workers

  4. jolink653 - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Alvarez seems to be going the Chuck Knoblauch route defensively. He just needs to relax and have some confidence in his throws and defense

  5. khar9 - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    He needs to charge every routine ground ball hit to him . Gets his body moving and his brain doesn’t have time to think . It’s the simple ground balls were he almost throws them out of the stadium.

  6. catskinnerd11r - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    One way to fix his throwing problems is ship him to the AL

  7. jaysprospectarilo - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Anyone else see an Edwin Encarnacion style situation here?
    Turned into a fielding headcase at the position he was drafted and brought thru the minors for with a so-so bat and great power.
    Moved from his natural position to 1B/DH and given some work with Joey Bats and the Jays crew to rework his approach. BAM. All-star digits.

    Perhaps his time is coming for that trade for a big name to reboot his career with a new team.

  8. pitt4059 - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Looks as if Pittsburgh is a pretender again this year at the trade deadline while the A’s, Cardinals, Tigers, Orioles, and Brewers are the contenders. Management doesn’t realize what it takes to get into the World Series. They are so close yet they won’t pull the trigger to get over the top.

  9. earpaniac - Jul 31, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    For Pirates fans, is it Steve Sax disease, or something else?

  10. jimboar - Aug 1, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    There have been many poor fielders in MLB history, but usually they remain in the lineup because they can hit.

    Example: Dick Allen (Phillies) 1964 – 41 errors at 3B, Rookie of Year, .318 BA, .939 OPS, .557 SLG, Etc.
    The Phillies kept him at third most of the time through 1967, even though his fielding continued to be a challenge.

    Given Pedro’s obvious hitting AND fielding challenges, it is not at all clear why he remains in the lineup.

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