Pirates third base prospect Pedro Alvarez(notes) is expected to make his major league debut very soon — perhaps this week. It seems like half of Triple-A Indianapolis' opening day roster has already arrived in Pittsburgh, so the callup is almost overdue.
When asked about the possibility that Alvarez could join the Bucs during their upcoming six-game homestand, general manager Neal Huntington made the following comments:
"I won't rule it out. Our [initial] feel was closer to the end of the month, but Pedro has responded well to the challenge of these other two guys going up."
The other guys, of course, are pitcher Brad Lincoln(notes) and outfielder Jose Tabata(notes). Those two were promoted last Wednesday; Alvarez responded by going 3-for-4 against Pawtucket that afternoon, missing the cycle by a single. He struggled early in the year, hitting .224 in April, but he's been terrific in recent weeks. He's now batting .285 with 13 homers, 52 RBIs, and an OPS of .919. The 23-year-old is expected to be the Bucs' everyday third baseman when he makes it to Pittsburgh, nudging Andy LaRoche(notes) into a utility role.
"Right now," said LaRoche, "I don't deserve to be starting at third."
It's nice to see everyone fall in line. The left-handed-hitting Alvarez has crushed LHPs through 64 minor league games this year (.323/.408/.661), so there's no obvious need for a platoon.
If you're looking for power at a talent-scarce position — perhaps because Aramis Ramirez(notes) has redefined "worthless" this season — offer Alvarez a tryout. He's currently owned in just three percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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