Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Garners Another Look at New Position in the Infield

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Garners Another Look at New Position in the Infield

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE -- Pedro Alvarez made his second career start at first base Saturday, primarily because of the matchup against Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta.

"Basically it's the fastball, a big arm," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "[We'll] try and match some power with some power."

Hurdle said he understands there will be a learning curve, and just wants Alvarez to not try to do too much or make anything more complicated than it needs to be.

"We just hope he keeps it simple. Basically follow your defensive instincts," Hurdle said. "You know, one step and a dive. If it's more than that, go to the bag."

Alvarez is borrowing a teammate's first-base glove and working on breaking in his own.

"We worked on picks, worked on all those things," Hurdle said. "At the end of the day you've got to get him out there and play the game. The first game, he was excited and anxious because of what it all is. This is the major leagues. You're asking a guy to go over there and give it a shot, and he's willing to do that."

Peralta was the Brewers' fifth starter out of spring training, but has had a banner season, entering the game with a 15-7 record and 3.27 ERA.

Alvarez entered 2 for 9 in his career against Peralta.

"It's hard. It's a power guy. What a great story. I don't know how many people had a shot at him winning 20 this year out of spring training," Hurdle said of Peralta.


Catcher Tony Sanchez played first base for Class AAA Indianapolis Friday in part to expand his versatility, but also to give catching prospect Elias Diaz some Class AAA experience behind the plate.

"Could you carry three catchers versus two catchers if one of the catchers can go play another position?" Hurdle said. "[Sanchez is] a right-handed bat that can be utilized much more that way than just as a backup catcher, depending on our catching situation next year."

Hurdle said it will also enable one of the organization's "brightest young prospects" to develop at the highest level of the minor leagues. …

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