Share This Page

Pirates won't be calling up 3B Alvarez in 2009

CHICAGO — From the majors to the minors, the Pirates' top power hitter this season is third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Splitting his time between Single-A Lynchburg and Double-A Altoona, Alvarez has hit 23 home runs, one more than Pirates' team leader Garrett Jones. Alvarez went into Sunday's action leading the Eastern League in batting average (.440) and hits (22) in August.

Yet, even though the Pirates are starved for power and run production, Alvarez will not make his major-league debut until at least 2010.

Although the Pirates would like to fast-track Alvarez to the majors, he will finish this season at Double-A. General manager Neal Huntington said he prefers not to jump prospects more than one level in a season.

"We're a long ways from having another option (to Andy LaRoche) at third base," Huntington said Sunday on his weekly radio show. "We really like what Pedro has done with the bat, but he still has some strides to make with his glove. It's not just about his offensive performance."

Huntington said Alvarez must continue to slim down this offseason in order to remain at third base. The Pirates have not yet decided whether Alvarez will go to Instructional League and/or the Arizona Fall League, or if he will spend the winter just working out.

"We're leaning toward giving him the time in the weight room and (teaching him to make) better food choices rather than continuing the day-to-day grind (of games)," Huntington said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.