April 10, 2010

Alvarez Has 3 Homers in 2 AAA Games

PITTSBURGH, Pa. / April 10, 2010

He didn't get much love in our World Series MVP poll, but Pedro Alvarez is already making a strong case for a McCutchen-like promotion this year.

In AAA Indianapolis's first game Thursday, he had a home run, two RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Friday night, he hit two home runs, drove in five and also walked.

Basically the main thing keeping Pedro Alvarez in the minors right now is his service time. If he stays in Indianapolis for the first 50 games or so, the Pirates will keep him under club control for another season and also push back his arbitration date by a year.

Andrew McCutchen was in the same situation last year and was brought up June 4 after the Nate McLouth trade. Cutch was a fixture in the lineup the rest of the year, missing only one start.

I think the Pirates will do the same thing with Alvarez. There's no point in keeping him in the minors beyond June unless they intended to wait until June 2011 to bring him up, which seems ridiculously long right now.

It is also apparent that Alvarez will play third base in Pittsburgh. He's playing third at Indianapolis and certainly the Pirates would be using him at another position if that's where they expected to use him here. Andy LaRoche is a decent player but there's no way he should block a prospect who has major league 30 home run power right now. I also don't think LaRoche would move to any position other than shortstop, since the Pirates have a better hitter than him at every other position.

I'm targeting June 4 again as Saviour Day. The Pirates start a three-game weekend series against the Giants that night. Predicted lineup:

Iwamura 3b
McCutchen cf
Jones rf
Doumit c
Milledge lf
Alvarez 3b
Clement 1b
Maholm p
LaRoche ss

Yes, I did line up the entire rotation until June 4 for this post. Enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. Wait so did you literally calculate the entire rotation out to ... oh. You did. Cool.