KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Despite struggling at the plate during Grapefruit League action this spring, third baseman Pedro Alvarez will start the season in the Majors. Rumors swirled that Alvarez might start the season at Triple-A Indianapolis to get back on track, but Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington insisted on Sunday, prior to the Bucs 9-7 win over the Houston Astros, that they do not plan on sending Alvarez to Triple-A to start the 2012 season.

"We’ll see where he is health-wise," Huntington said. "The rumors of him starting in Triple-A have never came from the Pirates. It’s been an outside speculation. It’s not what we’ve thought of [doing]. We’ve asked him to do some things coming into spring training. He’s done those. He’s going through a tough stretch right now. Are we going to ...

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