Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Not Ready to Play, but Can Pinch-Hit

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Not Ready to Play, but Can Pinch-Hit

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS -- Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez injured his foot in a 5-2 win Aug. 26 against St. Louis at PNC Park and has not started the past seven games.

Alvarez didn't go on the disabled list, but he has been unavailable and, until Tuesday, his baseball-related activity was limited to hitting off a tee.

Manager Clint Hurdle said Wednesday before the series finale against St. Louis that Alvarez (left foot discomfort) would be available to pinch-hit, but is not yet ready to play in the field.

"He is physically not able to take the field right now," Hurdle said. "He is working hard to try and make some progress.

"Initially, we thought there was a good push, and now it has been in kind of a holding pattern.

"He is now facing live pitching as far as hitting off the coaches and the pitchers and the machines, so he has ramped that up. He is available off the bench to hit."

Alvarez was still just hitting off a tee as late as Monday and not even taking light batting practice.

The Pirates open a weekend series Friday in Chicago, but the pitching matchups might relegate Alvarez to the bench for a while longer.

The Cubs are scheduled to throw three left-handers-- Tsuyoshi Wada, Felix Doubront and Travis Wood -- which means right-handed hitter Gaby Sanchez likely will start at first.

SNIDER RETURNS

Outfielder Travis Snider (hamstring) was injured Aug. 27 and missed three games before pinch-hitting Monday.

Hurdle said Snider felt good Tuesday and might be ready to return to full-time duty this weekend in Chicago, although as a left- hander, his playing time could be limited by the pitching matchups.

"There is a chance [Snider] will be ready for the weekend," Hurdle said.

PLAYER OF MONTH, AND MVP?

Third baseman Josh Harrison was hitting a league-leading .313 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs entering Wednesday's game.

He has played multiple positions, solidified the leadoff spot in the order and, when Alvarez's throwing fell apart, stepped in at third to solidify that position defensively.

Is that the resume of a league MVP?

Hurdle believes so and said that the reigning National League MVP, Andrew McCutchen, agrees with him. …

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