Alvarez held out of starting lineup for 3rd straight game
DENVER — Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was not in the starting lineup for a third straight game Saturday and he has not started in the Pirates' last three games against left-handed pitchers.
While Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a minor knee injury, he was healthy enough to enter play Friday night as a pinch hitter and remain in the game defensively.
Alvarez did not start Friday against Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson. He also was not in the lineup against left-hander Tyler Matzek on Saturday, and before his injury, he was held out of the lineup against Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Earlier this month, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Alvarez would not become a pure platoon player despite his continued struggles against left-handed pitching and the emergence of Josh Harrison.
Hurdle was asked Saturday if held the same position.
“Right now we are just trying to get him healthy,” Hurdle said when asked if Alvarez could become a platoon player. “I don't have a crystal ball. If you have one, let me borrow it. It would make my life easier. You look at every individual player. You want to do the best you can to get them in situations where they have success. You also have to weigh that against what's best for the team and put your best nine on the field. That's what we continually look at internally day after day.”
Alvarez is hitting .186 against left-handers this season and is a .198 hitter against southpaws for his career. Before the injury, Hurdle also pinch-hit for Alvarez late in games against situational left-handed pitchers.
“Where (Alvarez) is right now, with the health concerns, I think he's getting closer to be healthy. We'll see where it can take us once we get to San Francisco,” Hurdle said. “He played in 93 of the first 95 games, so I don't think a platoon situation existed then. There were opportunities to miss lefties along the way. He didn't miss many out of the bullpen. See where it takes us moving forward.”
Brent Morel started at third on Saturday and batted eighth.
Cole takes two
Gerrit Cole (lat strain) is scheduled to make an 80-pitch rehab outing for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, and Hurdle said it is likely Cole will make a second rehab start before rejoining the major league rotation.
The Pirates want Cole to throw 100 pitches in a game before returning. If Cole makes a second rehab start, it would put him in line to return Aug. 7 vs. the Marlins or Aug. 8 vs. the Padres at PNC Park. It might mean nothing, but Cole's rehab start is lined up with Vance Worley's turn in the rotation.
More port-side woes
Alvarez is not the only Pirates left-handed hitter struggling against southpaws.
Gregory Polanco hit seventh Saturday, dropped from the lead-off spot because of his struggles.
Polanco hit left-handers well as a minor-leaguer but was hitting .125 against lefties in his first 48 major league at-bats against them entering Saturday.
Russell Martin returned to the starting lineup Saturday after being removed late from Friday's game because the score, … Travis Snider has a tweaked hamstring but was available off the bench.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Ex-Pirate Parker fights against Parkinson’s with optimistic attitude
- Pirates notebook: New catcher Cervelli eager to bond with staff
- MLB notebook: Pirates’ Liriano gets $2 million bonus as part of 3-year, $39 million deal
- Pirates notebook: Trade talks continue, but no deals imminent
- Pirates trade for left-handed reliever Bastardo