UPDATE: Pedro Alvarez was indeed placed on the 15-day disabled list, reports Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
1:15 PM: According to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have dispatched minor league infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Pittsburgh for tonight’s game against the Tigers. The Pirates have yet to announce an official roster move, but Dunlap speculates that Ciriaco could take the place of Pedro Alvarez on the active roster.
Alvarez missed last night’s game with tightness in his right quadriceps, the very same injury that sidelined him for four games earlier this month.
While Alvarez showed plenty of promise last season by batting .256/.326/.451 with 16 homers and 64 RBI over his first 386 major league plate appearances, he’s been a major disappointment so far in 2011. The 24-year-old is currently batting just .202 with two homers, 10 RBI and 42 strikeouts over his first 125 at-bats while his seven errors are tied with Mark Reynolds for the most among major league third basemen.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.