PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been putting in early work in the cages, working on his swing with hitting coach Gregg Ritchie. And over the past several games it looks like the hard work is starting to pay off. The Pirates faced a lot of criticism for starting Alvarez in the Majors, despite a rough spring training, instead of sending him to Triple-A to get work in. Although it's a small sample size during the young 2012 season, the patience is encouraging.

"Time will tell," Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. "If you want to read my mail, there’s not a whole lot of us [that believe in him]. The most important part is the ones that are making the decisions. We’ve got patience. And it takes courage to have patience in challenging times. Whether it be with an individual,...

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