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.