Pirates notebook: Alvarez says he's fine with possible move to first base
Pedro Alvarez still sees himself as a third baseman, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday that they aren't closing the book on him at the position he has played his entire professional career.
For now, however, the Pirates believe the best option they have for getting the struggling Alvarez back in the lineup on a regular basis is to work toward a move to first base.
“Will the opportunity to move to that side of the diamond give him some freedom defensively and offensively?” Hurdle said. “I don't know that. I don't think he knows that. I think the important takeaway here is he knows we want to find a way to get his bat in the lineup, and he wants to find a way for that to play out as well.”
Hurdle said they asked Alvarez to consider the move to first Friday after he came back from a three-day stint on the bereavement list.
Alvarez leads the league in errors with 24 — most of them on throws to first base — and in recent weeks Hurdle had begun removing him late in games. Hurdle said last week in Arizona that Alvarez no longer was the starting third baseman.
“I was OK with (the move),” said Alvarez, who said he played some shortstop in high school but has been a third baseman since he started college. “I'll do anything I can, everything I can, to help as much as I can. That's my job. That's everyone's job here. When the opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer . It just shows they want me, and if that's how I can help, that's what I'm going to do.”
There is no timetable for when Alvarez, who never has played first, might get in a game there. There are position-specific requirements and techniques to learn such as footwork, fielding bunts, assignments on relays and balls in the corner and how to prepare for balls thrown in the dirt.
Hurdle also said he won't yet worry about how playing Alvarez at first might impact the use of Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez, who has been taking balls at third.
“We haven't even found out if (Alvarez) can play there,” Hurdle said. “I believe he can, but we'll take it one step at a time.”
Hurdle had no update on Neil Walker (sore lower back), saying Walker went in for treatment while he was on the field with Alvarez. Walker wasn't in the starting lineup but struck out in a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth.
Hurdle offered an update on Andrew McCutchen (rib).
“Andrew is doing better. He took swings. He ramped up the swings. More intensity. He threw up to 90 feet. We'll see how he feels (Sunday), but he took a couple big steps forward.”
Josh Harrison started in left field Saturday, one day after injuring his ankle and hand when he was caught stealing in the fifth inning.
“I don't know if anybody feels full health at this point in the season, but I'm good to go,” he said.
Harrison led all major league players going into Saturday's game with 55 total bases since the All-Star break. He's hitting .367 since the break with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 10 RBIs and 18 runs.
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
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.
- Pirates notebook: Volquez open to re-signing with team
- Liriano, McCutchen help Pirates to 1-0 win over Braves
- Tuesday’s scouting report: Pirates at Braves
- Rossi: The series that will define these Pirates
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world in Holdzkom
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Monday’s scouting report: Pirates at Braves
- Morton, Pirates blank Red Sox in series opener
- Martin’s homer rescues Pirates in 4-2 victory over Brewers
- Pirates’ 5-game winning streak ends with 1-0 loss to Brewers
- Pirates notebook: Worley raring to go after skipping last start