Pirates: Alvarez will get the Last Laugh


Former Pirates power hitter Pedro Alvarez signed with the Baltimore Orioles Monday night.

Since December, the release of Pedro Alvarez has been one of the most hotly debated topics in Pittsburgh .  Were the Pirates right or  wrong in cutting ties with their power hitter?

I am here to set the record straight.  For all the great moves Neal Huntington has made, he won’t be able to talk his way out of this move.  Pedro should still be a Pirate, plain and simple.

Yes, he is a horrible defender, easily one of the worst in all of baseball.  He made 23 errors in his first season at first base.  In previous seasons at third, he made 27 in 2012, 27 in 2013 and 25 in 2014.

He’s not on any gold glove list that’s for sure, but put this into perspective.  Only a couple of those errors in 2015 actually led to any runs for the opposing team.

Alvarez in a nutshell is a master of one thing: hitting the long ball.  I dig home runs.  Chicks dig home runs. Everyone digs home runs.  He led the Pirates last year 27 and his 36 in 2013 was tied for most in the National League.  Granted 22 of the 27 homers Pedro hit last year were solo shots.  Honestly, that shouldn’t matter.

For any team in baseball, especially the Pirates, you need have the guy on your team like Pedro Alvarez.  You need a guy who with one swing of a bat can tie or win the game for you in any situation.

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And right now, the Pirates don’t have that outside of Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte.  But even they don’t have the same type of power Alvarez has.  No one on this team does.  They also lost 16 home runs when they shipped Neil Walker to New York.

That’s 43 homers lost from the 2015 lineup. Where is that going to come from? John Jaso? He has a career 37 home runs. More importantly, the guy has played a two career games at first base.  So far in spring training, he has looked as bad as Pedro at the position.

Many of the Pirate ass kissers in the media say, “Based on the analytics  he’s an upgrade to Alvarez.”  Screw the analytics, seriously.  We aren’t the Oakland A’s in Money Ball.  We need El Toro power.

There is Jason Rogers, who the Pirates were gracious enough to acquire from the Brewers.  He’s fat like Pedro and does have experience playing first, but let’s be honest, it will be a miracle if we see double-digit homers from him.

And we come to Mike Morse.  He did hit 31 homers for the Nationals back in 2011 and has multiple seasons with over 15 homers.   For my money’s worth, I think Morse could be able to bring the power the Pirates need.

There’s just one problem though, he will be 34 at the end of this month and he didn’t exactly light the world on fire after the Pirates traded for him last year.  True be told, if he hits at least 10 it’s a blessing in disguise.

Anyways, Pedro will probably hit 25 to 30 home runs for the Orioles.  He could hit more depending on if he is the full-time DH or not.  Between Jaso, Rogers and Morse, the Pirates will be lucky if those three can combine for 20.

The release of Alvarez will come back to haunt the Pirates this season, whether you like it or not.  When one of the three stooges at first strikes out with a chance to tie or win the game, fans will clamor for their former power hitter.

Huntington has done so much to make this an elite team.  He is one of the best general managers in baseball and that is hard to dispute.  But at the end of the day, letting your best power hitter go and saying they are better off is simply asinine.

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It’s like putting lipstick on a pig.  It’s still a pig no matter how much you try to convince someone.  Alvarez will be laughing as he smashes towering home runs at Camden Yards. The Pirates, on the other hand, will be stuck with their lipstick covered pig.