Alvarez not likely to return to college
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INDIANAPOLIS (66-74) beat Louisville, 5-4. LHP Corey Hamman (4-3, 5.03) allowed two runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. LHP Juan Perez (3.32) pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out five, walked two. 2B Luis Cruz (.333) hit his second home run, a two-run shot, and went 3 for 4 with a double. 3B Neil Walker (.243) went 3 for 5 with a triple, double and RBI. CF Andrew McCutchen (.277) went 1 for 5 with a triple. RF Steve Pearce (.259) went 1 for 3 with a walk.
ALTOONA (62-76) split a doubleheader at Akron, losing, 3-0, and winning, 1-0. In the first game, LHP Kyle Bloom (5-8, 4.19) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. In the nightcap, RHP Christian Castorri (1-3, 6.79) pitched three scoreless innings and allowed two hits. For the day, CF Jose Tabata (.268) went 1 for 6 with a double and RBI.
LYNCHBURG (54-80) was off.
HICKORY (50-85) lost at Augusta, 5-1. LHP Mike Felix (4-7, 5.50) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. SS Jordy Mercer (.246) went 2 for 4.
STATE COLLEGE (15-50) beat Mahoning Valley, 4-3. RHP Carlos Amaro (1-1, 2.20) allowed one run and two hits in six innings. DH Kyle Morgan (.253) hit his third home run and went 2 for 4. C Miguel Mendez (.215) went 3 for 4 with a double.
BRADENTON (37-20) lost to the Phillies, 7-4, in a one-game Gulf Coast League semifinal and was eliminated from the playoffs. LHP Tyler Cox (2-3, 1.79) allowed four runs and five hits in two innings. 3B Jarek Cunningham (.336) hit his sixth home run, a two-run shot, and went 4 for 4 with three RBIs.
Regardless of how the Pedro Alvarez mess plays out, it looks like his options for playing meaningful baseball this fall or winter are becoming increasingly limited.
Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt University's baseball coach, said last night that, even if Alvarez's contract were voided through the Major League Baseball Players Association grievance and he were to try to return for a senior year, he likely will not regain his eligibility from the NCAA. The reason, Corbin said, is the heavy involvement of Scott Boras as his agent.
Other agents in the industry concurred, citing NCAA bylaw 12.3, which stipulates that a student-athlete "may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent ... for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete's ability or reputation."
Alvarez and Boras were together Aug. 15 for the verbal agreement of a $6 million bonus, and Boras has spoken publicly on Alvarez's behalf.
Vanderbilt will not know definitively if Alvarez is eligible unless he applies to the NCAA, and there is no indication that will happen. Alvarez has not communicated with anyone at the school since before Aug. 15.
That includes Corbin, but Corbin spoke passionately on Alvarez's behalf, clearly moved by some criticism he has read out of Pittsburgh.
"This is a good kid," Corbin said. "I am telling you, this is a good kid! That's the real perspective on this. I know him. My family knows him. He has time for everyone. No ego at all. ... You know, there are two sides to every story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth. I know that, with the fan base in Pittsburgh, there are some people disappointed right now. But they don't know the kid like I do."
If Alvarez's contract is voided, the most likely choice would be to play independent minor league baseball for a year.
If he joins the Pirates, the Florida Instructional League is most likely. After that, they still could send Alvarez to the Arizona Fall League or Hawaiian Winter League at any time, but management would prefer to see Alvarez report soon - grievance or not - to get such an assignment.
It is believed that Boras has advised Alvarez not to speak publicly -- apparently not with the Pirates, either -- until after the arbitration hearing.
First Published August 29, 2008 12:00 am