The future has officially arrived in Pittsburgh. Pedro Alvarez has been called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to Colin Dunlap of the PPG. There were some reports earlier today that Alvarez wouldn’t get the call until this weekend, and wouldn’t make his debut until Saturday. Now it seems that the Pirates will go with a lineup that includes Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Garrett Jones at the top, starting tomorrow.
No word on who will get demoted to make room for Alvarez. I would think the candidates would be Ryan Church, Akinori Iwamura, Delwyn Young, Andy LaRoche, or Lastings Milledge. Church, Milledge, LaRoche, and Young are all out of options, which means they would have to be designated for assignment or traded to make room for Alvarez. Iwamura, despite being the highest paid player on the team, has three options left, and could be optioned down to make room for Alvarez, allowing the Pirates to keep everyone. There’s also a chance that we could see a phantom injury pop up, as in something we haven’t heard about with one of the above players until this point.
Alvarez will end the 2010 season with 110 days of service time, which pretty much guarantees he will avoid Super Two status. Alvarez has a $700 K option in 2013, which he would have been able to void had he been eligible for arbitration. He will avoid that by avoiding Super Two status. He has an option in 2014 for $700 K, although I’m not sure if he can void that option, as he most definitely will be eligible for arbitration that year. If he can’t void the option year, it would be a huge steal for the Pirates, as they’d likely save millions of dollars off of his first arbitration year.
Alvarez is hitting for a .280/.365/.540 line in 239 at-bats with Indianapolis this season, with 13 homers. That’s pretty incredible, considering Alvarez started the season hitting for a .224/.298/.424 line in the month of April. Since then, Alvarez has hit for a .312/.401/.604 line, with eight homers in 154 at-bats. Alvarez saw a slight drop in his strikeout ratio, striking out 29.4% of the time in April, and 27.3% of the time after April. He saw a big jump in his walk ratio, going from 8.5% in April to 13.0% after April.