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Pedro Alvarez Optioned To AAA Indianapolis

The Pirates are winning games, but in a lot of ways, are still starved for scoring. They rank in the bottom five of the National League in a lot of vital offensive categories and have a run differential of just +3 on the season despite excellent pitching from the starting a relief corps.

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With that in mind, it came as a bit of a surprise Saturday when the club chose not to bring third baseman Pedro Alvarez back to the big leagues from this disabled list right away.

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Pirates recall Pedro Alvarez from rehab, reinstate him from the 15-day disabled list and option him to Triple-A Indianapolis.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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Alvarez is one of the system's few true power threats, and with light-hitting Josh Harrison and inconsistent Brandon Wood getting the lion's share of time at third base presently, it seemed like a no-brainer that Alvarez would be back with the Pirates as soon as he was physically able. Management clearly didn't see enough in his .294 batting average and .821 OPS in five games at Indianapolis on his rehab assignment, however, to warrent an immediate promotion, and it looks like he'll remain in AAA for the time being after a slow start at the big league level before his injury.

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Obviously, the question is now what the Pirates will do at third base in the heat of the National League Central race. They could be hoping Harrison and Wood can hold down the fort until Alvarez is ready to come back to the big club, or they could be setting the stage for a move in the trade market. We'll have to wait for comment from general manager Neal Huntington for the full story, but for the moment, this looks like a pretty bold move.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.