They keep losing baseball games, but at least something interesting is happening in Pittsburgh: interesting young players keep getting called up.
The latest will be Pedro Alvarez, who Pirates GM Neal Huntington indicated yesterday could be promoted this week. He’s earned it: Alvarez is hitting .285/.370/.549 with 13 homers and 52 RBI for Indianapolis, and he has improved his most glaring weakness, which is vulnerability to lefties.
Huntington says that when Alvarez comes up he’ll take Andy LaRoche’s job at third, with LaRoche moving into a utility role. There’s some question as to how long he’ll last at third, however. He’s a big fella and none too quick, so he may be a first baseman or a left fielder going forward.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: