Pedro Alvarez is a healthy scratch as the Pirates try to fix his throwing problems

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Earlier this week Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked about looking into the “mental component” of Pedro Alvarez’s throwing problems in an effort to get the third baseman back on track defensively. And now Alvarez is out of the lineup for a second straight day despite being healthy.

Josh Harrison is starting at third base and using the All-Star utility man there more often is the most obvious solution if Hurdle and the Pirates decide Alvarez isn’t fixable in the short term.

Not only has Alvarez committed an MLB-high 21 throwing errors among 23 total miscues, he’s hitting just .238 with a pedestrian .733 OPS and hasn’t homered since the All-Star break.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.