Pirates Notebook: Alvarez is going to hit but not run
CHICAGO -- Third baseman Pedro Alvarez traveled to the Pirates' facility in Bradenton, Fla., to participate in extended spring training games, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Alvarez is on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right quadriceps. Because swinging a bat does not bother him, Alvarez will hit in games, but not run the bases.
"I've never seen this happen before other than in fantasy-camp games," Hurdle said. "He's actually going to bat and not run. But you can do it in extended spring games. They'll just go get it, fetch it like a Frisbee, throw it back in and the next guy will come up."
Alvarez was hitting .208 with 2 home runs and 42 strikeouts in 125 at-bats before going on the disabled list.
"He'll see pitches, he's going to see spin, he's going to see velocity, those kinds of things," Hurdle said.
Alvarez joined starter Ross Ohlendorf in Bradenton. Ohlendorf, on the 15-day disabled list because of a posterior strain in his right shoulder, will continue to throw bullpen sessions there.
Steve Pearce batted second and played third base Friday as Hurdle again used a revamped lineup. Jose Tabata led off, and Andrew McCutchen hit third. Pearce went 0 for 3 with an RBI.
"I think a big part of every team is that guy that's there in the two hole, even if that is the guy that doesn't really have to hit for the best average," Pearce said. "You look at the big picture, if you move those runners over, get jobs done, the two hole's very important."
Pearce went 3 for 5 with a home run Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves. He is hitting .283 in 53 at-bats this season.
"I think part of it is his mentality," Hurdle said of Pearce's success with limited work. "He's just embraced it. And that's the biggest part and why many guys don't do well; they don't embrace it."
The two days off the Pirates had this week will have to tide them over for a while. The game Friday began a stretch of 26 games in 27 days, with the only scheduled off day June 6.
"You got to take advantage of the time you have off because it's far between," Pearce said.
Hurdle said his job during the long stretch of games is to manage his players' rest, keeping track of who needs a day off here and there.
"I do believe right now we're looking forward to a volume of games, a bundle of games," he said. "I think everybody here's looking forward to that."
After the win, the Pirates' record against the Cubs this season improved to 3-1. The Pirates are 13-6 against the Cubs since the beginning of the 2010 season.
"It's just the way it goes," Pearce said. "Right now, for some reason, we match up really well against the Cubs. We always find ourselves ahead early, never out of the game when we play those guys."
Tabata appeared to tweak his right ankle in a play at home plate in the first inning Friday, but stayed in the game. He said his ankle felt fine after the game.
First Published May 28, 2011 12:00 am