I’m just going to come out and say it now:
Pedro Alvarez isn’t moving across the diamond anytime soon.
Sorry, I just don’t see that happening right now, not with his current contract, not with his current agent, and not with Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez occupying the right hand corner of the diamond. It’s just simply not happening. I’m not going to stand on a soapbox and preach how I know this doesn’t make sense through fancy sabermetrics, and tell you you’re wrong because you don’t believe in the power of analytics. Frankly, you can take it or leave it as you like, but Pedro is staying at the hot corner.
Have you seen that bull throw the ball across the diamond at full potential? You know if this whole hitting thing doesn’t work out, hell he’d make one talented fireballer out the bullpen. He might even be the one you want to bring in to purposely hit someone if you’re playing out in the deserts of Arizona. That guy has an absolute cannon of an arm. His lateral movement then? For a guy of his size, he’s got some incredible reaction time, he moves to his left, he moves to his right, with the best of them.
Then lets look at his hitting, he’s getting on base more often and efficiently than last year (crap, said I wouldn’t use those sabermetrics). Personally I think he’s just swinging a better bat, but there’s one problem, that’s magnifying his hitting problem (if you even want to call it one). That happens to be the sudden burst of talent being shown by Josh Harrison. I’ve got nothing in the tank to explain how that’s happening, other than he is having a season that he’ll never forget. That all is besides the point, because let’s be honest, Pedro is not Pedro right now. It seems like nobody in the Pirates organization, so far at least, knows how to fix it. I’ll propose an idea though, because we fought for that Freedom of Speech thing almost 240 years ago.
First things first, shut him down. Just shut him down. Don’t leave him on the bench hoping he might get an AB or two, just put him on the DL, make up something. Tell him to go on a week-long vacation, come back in a week and we’ll get back to things. Think Spongebob forgetting everything except fancy dining, only Pedro doesn’t forget baseball. He just takes a week off. Believe me, there’s no one more critical of what’s going on right now than the big bull himself. And believe me, there’s no one else I want to succeed more than Pedro, for more reasons than he’s a great individual off the field. Anyway, after we get back from that quick heartfelt tangent, we fast-forward to Pedro stepping back on the field.
Don’t even put him into the field for the first three days, just let him hit down in Pirate City, let him get back into the swing of things (no pun intended), then throw him out on the field. Quit telling him the mechanics of throwing the ball across the diamond either. Just flat out tell him to be himself, do what he’s been doing all his life at third. There’s nothing more compromising than having him try and learn new things about third base, then go ahead and try them out in a game and be thinking too much trying to throw the ball across the diamond. He’s probably throwing the ball across the diamond thinking about everything except hitting the glove on the other side.
Then what’s the side effect of that? It’s in the third row, it’s five feet short, it’s off target in every sense of the word. Believe me, I’ve been there. As a youth I ran into the same problems as Pedro, and did the exact same thing I’m proposing here, only I’d take the night after the game and just do what I wanted to do. Play video games till 2 AM, anything to put me in bed, and not think about what I couldn’t do on the diamond earlier that day. Eventually I just got moved to the mound (Gee, I wonder where I got that Pedro comparison from?), and the rest is, well, history. I moonlight in the OF too from time to time, but the mound is my haven these days.
Again, that’s besides the point, but the main idea of this is just to make baseball fun for Pedro again. You can’t tell me he’s having fun out there having no idea what he’s doing because he’s thinking of everything but throwing the ball as he throws the ball across the diamond. So in short. Let him forget everything, then let him get back into it his own way, not through mental training. Hell even let him see a shrink, but give him that week off, he needs it.
Let’s not forget who won a Silver Slugger Last year.
Let’s also not forget that last 3B we gave up on, and that team from north of the boarder gave it a shot either.
Let’s not let that happen again, it starts with what I’ve been saying all along. Give the bull a rest.