Pirates send former top prospect Pedro Alvarez to Triple-A

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Pedro Alvarez has recovered from the quad injury that placed him on the disabled list back on May 21, but rather than bring him back as their third baseman, the Pirates chose to option him to Triple-A on Saturday.

Alvarez, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, hit just .208/.283/.304 with two homers and 10 RBI in 125 at-bats before getting hurt.  He had hit .235/.386/.382 with one homer in 12 games on his rehab assignment.

“Pedro remains a big part of our future,” GM Neal Huntington said in an email, “But we believe making this move is the best way to get him back on track offensively and defensively so he can help us win games at the major league level.”

In the meantime, the Pirates are left with Josh Harrison getting most of the starts at third base.  Chase d’Arnaud is needed at shortstop with Ronny Cedeno out, and Brandon Wood will serve as a backup at both positions.

All in all, Pirates third basemen have hit .230/.287/.331 with six homers and 35 RBI this season.  Alvarez’s OPS at third is .596, Harrison’s is .672 and Wood’s is .592.

Bryce Harper activated from the disabled list

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The Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list.

They were expected to activate Harper yesterday but they didn’t because Harper was suffering from an illness. He’s better today so he should be in the lineup against the Phillies.

Harper has been out since August when he slipped on a wet first base bag and was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee. That interrupted an MVP-caliber season in which he was hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. While the postseason awards are out of his reach, the Nats will be content to get him back up to speed in time for what looks to be a first round playoff matchup against the Chicago Cubs.

Someone stole Trevor Bauer’s drone

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Last year Trevor Bauer‘s playoff availability — and performance — was impacted in a major way by a drone injury. Specifically, Bauer lacerated his pinky on the outside of his right hand while repairing one of the drones he designs, builds and flies.

Now, a little over a week before the Indians begin the defense of their American League pennant, Bauer is embroiled in further drone drama. He tweeted this afternoon that his drone “IronMan” has been stolen. He has implored the public for Iron Man’s safe return so that he need not risk his pinky finger with yet another October drone injury:

I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the Indians themselves stole the drone so that Bauer does not mess with it anymore until the season is over. They need him too badly.