I've noticed the question is being asked more and more: should the Pirates send Pedro Alvarez to Triple-A to start the year? Every time Alvarez starts to struggle, the topic comes up.
My opinion is that Triple-A won't help Alvarez. We've seen him sent down to Triple-A after struggling in the majors. He immediately goes on a tear at the level. Then, after being called back up, he struggles again in the big leagues.
I'm not sure what sending Alvarez to Triple-A would accomplish. For Alvarez, I'm not sure how it would help his development. We know he can hit Triple-A pitching. What he hasn't shown is whether he can hit major league pitching. You can make all the arguments you want about building up confidence, but I don't think it's a lack of confidence for Alvarez. I think it's a lack of adjustments. He hit well in his pro debut, but really fell off last year. The league adjusted to him, and he didn't adjust back. You can't make that adjustment in Triple-A.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.