Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Throws Top Brass a Curve His Throwing Woes Defy Solution So Far

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Throws Top Brass a Curve His Throwing Woes Defy Solution So Far

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pedro Alvarez made his major league-leading 21st throwing error -- 23rd overall -- Sunday in Denver, and it led to two unearned runs.

As the Pirates try to reduce those errors, they have explored everything from mechanical issues to the mental component to find the root of the problem.

"Yeah, as with any kind of complication, whether it be a pitcher [or fielder], there's conversations. There's a communication," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's a buy in. And outside of that, we get to the point in time where the player takes ownership. He shares what he's feeling, what he's thinking. We go on in the process of trying to help him with that."

The infield work is important though, Hurdle said, as is simulating situations he has struggled with in order to create muscle memory.

"The repetition is important. It's not just putting time in. It's putting focused time in, and that can be the challenged part of it," Hurdle said. "Pedro has been focused, continues to work to do the things that you've got to do to work your way through it. Outside of that, we just keep focused on hunting good stuff and trying to help him find more consistency."

The opinions on where he has been going wrong abound.

"The one interesting thing about all of this is all the different opinions that are coming out now," Hurdle said. "People are paying obviously more attention. Everybody's got a thought. What we continue to try and get him [to do] is to keep moving. Sometimes that can come with positioning.

"If you play deeper, you got a chance to be more active. [Because] we continue to see great instincts, reflexes on a number of different plays."

The Pirates have identified when the errors occur, which generally is on plays that slow him down.

"It has been every once in a while the play where he decelerates that kind of throws the rhythm, and the tempo or the pace and quite possibly the throwing slot off," Hurdle said. "We continue to work on encouraging to maintain the rhythm, maintain the pace. …

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