First Pitch: Pedro Alvarez’s Future With the Pirates

When Pedro Alvarez was taken in the first round in the 2008 draft, there were two beliefs about his future. First was that he could be the big power bat that would anchor the middle of the Pirates’ lineup for years to come. Second was that he might eventually have to move to first base, due to his size. Six years later, only one of those things is true, and unfortunately for the Pirates, it’s not the good one.

Alvarez has struggled this year on both sides of the ball. His power just isn’t there, with a .404 slugging percentage that represents a huge drop from previous years. He’s been struggling defensively, but the surprising thing is that it’s not really due to his size, as expected back when he was drafted. Instead, for whatever reason, he can’t make the throw to first base anymore.

The Pirates have replaced Alvarez at third base with Josh Harrison, who has been better than Alvarez in every way this year. It’s still too early to say whether Harrison’s performance this year is legit, but the Pirates have no choice right now but to trust him, and start him over Alvarez.

The future for Alvarez with the Pirates will either be first base, or a trade. When asking around about the Alen Hanson move to second base, one of the things I was hearing was that the plan is to eventually move Alvarez to first base. Two days later, he loses his job at third to Harrison, the Pirates sign Jayson Nix to backup third base, and the talk that Alvarez will move to first makes a lot more sense.

Ike Davis was acquired this year to be the first baseman for the Pirates, as part of the platoon with Gaby Sanchez. Davis has struggled in the role, although he has been strong in the second half during his career, and has a .790 OPS so far in a small sample in the second half this year. He’s going to have to do a lot in the final two months to win a job for next year, since Alvarez looks like the much better option in the future.

As for Alvarez, the hope would be that he would see his power bounce back to where it was the last two years after a move to first base. He wouldn’t have to worry about his fielding at third, which would make it possible to focus more on the hitting. Of course, he will have to focus on learning the first base position, which is why the Pirates probably won’t have him making the switch this season.

I’m sure most Pirates fans would rather see Alvarez traded, and just avoid the hassle of trying to see him bounce back. Alvarez has a lot of upside, and you’d be selling at a low point if you trade him now. The only way it would make sense to deal him is if you think his value could go any lower, with a small chance of improvement. I just can’t see his bat and his power falling completely off and never returning. I’m not saying the Pirates won’t deal Alvarez. I just think there’s a good chance that the bat will bounce back next year.

Alvarez was expected to be a key part of the Pirates’ franchise back when he was signed. He’s not that key piece this year, but fortunately the team has seen Harrison step up to fill that void. Still, there’s nothing like this offense with Alvarez’s power bat in the middle of the lineup. The Pirates need to keep him around, in hopes that his power returns after the move away from third base.

Links and Notes

**Prospect Watch: Angel Sanchez Makes His Debut in Altoona

**DSL Pirates Report: Raul Siri and Richard Mitchell Are Tops Among Pirates Players in July

**Pirates Sign Jayson Nix, Who is Active For Today’s Game

**Prospect Highlights: Walk-Off From Mel Rojas Jr, Elias Diaz Plates Two

**Minor League Schedule: Nick Kingham Looks to Put Tough July Behind Him

  • If Pedro moves to 1B who is going to reliably throw the ball back to the pitcher after pickoff attempts at 1B?

  • I can do this now….(Bucco front office, is this good)… Pedro is great. Bad days, with the throwing. He’ll get better, he’s awesome. He’s a great hitter, over .210 is awesome! If you want to move him to1b,he’ll be awesome! He’s a Bucco, he’s awesome. Won’t disagree with the Bucco front office here! Go Pedro!!!

  • mysonisnamedafterRoberto
    August 4, 2014 8:21 pm

    Ohhhhhhh, if we were only in the American League.

  • BallHeadWonder
    August 4, 2014 4:38 pm

    We are all talking about Ike not hitting well and Gabby watching 3rd strikes!! First I am a Neil Hunnington fan. We would not be here if it weren’t for the things he has done for this organization, but I feel he had the Biggest called 3rd strike this season!!! Jose Abreu!!! That was a fastball coming right down Main St. and we just looked at it and the White Sox said thank you!! I don’t want to hear that he has never seen MLB Pitching!! How many Cubans does it take to make it in the Majors to find out they are playing the same game if not better here in the States!! I know he is waiting to make a splash because he is Suffocating a Dollar Bill, but he missed his pitch there and this dude has KILLED MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHING!!! Damn!!!

  • Michael Shaeffer
    August 4, 2014 3:08 pm

    I’ve been a Pedro guy from the beginning. However, even I can’t deny that this year has been a rough one for him. I hope he can make the move to first successfully next year.

  • Monsoon Harvard
    August 4, 2014 3:05 pm

    Jim Leyland moved Miguel Cabrera off of third base to first base during the season. Why can’t they move Pedro?

  • pilbobuggins
    August 4, 2014 1:42 pm

    Trading pedro is the best option to benefit the team,he has been an albatross to this team,he has already been a drag on the team,just imagine how much more of a drag he would be skulking around the clubhouse. Folks who look at only numbers tend to forget that baseball is more mental than it is numbers, sure numbers are good indicators of a player, first you have to have the talent,then you have to have the will to succeed,if you have those two then you have to get your mind in a place that allows you to succeed. Do that,then folks can start talking about how good or bad your numbers are and speculate on what your future is.

    • What makes you think he’ll be skulking around the clubhouse?

      • If you were fired would’nt you skulk or at least sulk. Ballplayers are human with the same emotional reaction to failure as the rest of us. I don’t necessarily mean he will be negative about it personally. The circumstances however will be negative to the team. I reiterate it is time to cut ties with pedro both for his well being and that of the team.

        • I don’t know the guy. I don’t know how he’d react.

          He wasn’t fired. He’s still with the team. I’ve done a lot of coaching in my life. I’ve seen some kids react to a benching (or being dressed-down or whatever) by sulking. I’ve seen some kids get fired up about it and work harder than they ever have in their lives for the next few weeks until they overcame the issue. I’ve seen some kids let it not bother them at all and they seemed just as happy to be subs instead of starters. There’s probably some other reactions I can’t remember, too.

  • Change of position could help Pedro. It’s hard to handle two mental issues at a time (throws and inability to hit a breaking pitch) for anyone regardless of their profession. But if they start that project now you can’t have two left handers at first. At least when we get Marte back we won’t need Gaby to pinch hit against right handers.

    • And learning a new position on the fly won’t be a mental issue at all.

      • Your reaction implies that I said it would take care of his “issues”. I only stated the possibility exists it could help. I’m a Pirates fan so I’m hoping if it happens the light switch comes on. I’m not sure what your agenda is.

        • No, I am suggesting that changing positions does not address the fundamental issue, and in fact probably replaces one stressor with a new one. The possibility exists that anything could help. Doing nothing could help. Trading him could help. Rubbing lip balm on his ears could help. That’s not really saying anything though, is it? His issues are mental, the solution will be mental. It’s pointless to speculate on what might or might not help, as if we know the first thing about it.

          And I’m not self-absorbed enough to have an agenda, nor assume that anyone who disagrees with me has one.

          • Then I apologize, but it seemed you were blasting me for just suggesting that it could possibly help him. I realize it is not black and white. I really feel that this determines what an organization is all about. The Pirates have had a ton of issues this year and they are not 14 games back. Sometimes guys who aren’t doing well step up when their superstar is out.

  • Let operation: Buy Low on Chase Headley commence.

    • pilbobuggins
      August 4, 2014 1:55 pm

      That is a possibility with the yanks getting prado,although it’s unlikely it is a possibility.

    • Chase Headley is decline, he hasn’t been unlucky is production on fly balls has fallen off a cliff.

  • The ultimate plan has to be to trade Pedro, but you don’t wanna do that with his value incredibly low. I’d give him a week to practice 1B, not an ideal amount of time but enough to give him some comfort before starting there. Plus gives Ike another week to keep his job, more or less. Assuming Ike continues to stink, play Pedro at 1B for the remaining month and a half. He can’t really be worse than Ike.

    If Pedro’s bat heats up again, and his defense isn’t a train wreck, I’d trade him this off-season. He’ll at least have some value back and the Pirates can get rid of the head case he is.

    If he doesn’t hit much, the Pirates should start him at 1B in 2015, hope he produces/increases his value, then look to move him, which would be more of a financial decision than because of his play. If he doesn’t produce in 2015, well then move him for a pack of gum if that’s all you can get, because at that point he will officially be a bust in my book.

    My overall point is that Pedro needs to be moved, most likely to an AL club, but I don’t want the Pirates to give him away for nothing, as he should be a better hitter than he’s currently showing. I do agree with Tim that the 3B defense might be contributing to his hitting in a bad way, with his whole mental approach being affected. Let him play, increase his value, then trade him before he fails us again, especially since his long term financial commitment will not be suitable for the Pirates.

  • I’m not sure that moving Pedro to 1B is the answer. For one, is he even open to moving there? We’re all assuming Pedro will happily move to 1st without argument. But he wouldn’t be the first player to refuse to change positions. Also, if he wants traded ( and with his agent whispering in his ear that the Pirates will never pay him what he’s worth ), refusing a positon might be the perfect move for him. Finally, we also assume he will be decent at first. It is a posiiton that comes with its own challenges and we can only hope Pedro can make the adjustment.

    I think they should let another team take on the Pedro Alvarez project at this point. The “hot streaks” that everyone goes on about with Pedro seem to be flukes rather than the other way around. Homeruns are great when they happen, but with Pedro you can’t rely that they’ll happen at all. With Harrison seeming more and more like a long term 3rd base alternative, Pedro’s value to the Pirates has slipped to him being a bench player. Unfortunately, he is also Huntington’s highest profile draft, so the team will be hestitant to make that trade.

  • I really have always felt like Pedro is a guy who wants to be great and not let anyone down…but I think he thinks and dwells on this too much and it really interferes with his game. The guy never looks like he is enjoying it and I think sometimes he just needs to let it go and just have some fun. Just my theory but I think a change of scenery and role might be good for him. Even another team eventually where he doesn’t put so much pressure on himself. Maybe being a platoon guy with the Pirates at 1B will even might do it. My advice to Pedro is “You’ve already made 15 mil playing baseball, someone is always gonna want you for your huge power, so just go out there and rip it and forget about trying to be perfect.” …or maybe he is just terrible.

  • to me, this is like 2011 all over with Pedro. I thought he would improve from 2010 to 2011 but he ended up in minors. I thought he would improve in 2014 based upon his 2013 record. I could see another team being willing to give Pedro a fresh start next year. Unless Bucs get a very good offer for him I hope he stays here and we can see what he does at first base. There is a pretty good chance he could at least match 2013 season and possibly improve upon it. I don’t want to give up on someone with his power (even though I’m getting close to giving up on Ike Davis).

  • wilbert matthews
    August 4, 2014 10:56 am

    why cant we find a hitting guru who is the batting as Serage is to pitching? Could we try putting Pedro at #3 to get him more fastballs? Lighter bat? heavier bat? back farther in box? who knows

    • lonleylibertarian
      August 4, 2014 12:17 pm

      Oh you mean a hitting guru like that guy Clint Hurdle who was credited for creating the great Josh Hamilton years ago…

  • Everyone has a solution to the Pedro problem and many of them could be tried, but in the end, fear is his biggest problem of all, fear of failure, and anyone that has ever been afraid on a baseball field knows that is not something that you can cure with reps, any player that does not want the ball hit to them is playing scared, Pedro is afraid and it is easy to tell. When he has to field a bunt, he defers to the pitcher, when he has to field a bunt, most of the time these days he just one hands a bunt and drops the ball, no error no problem. If he gets a shot right at him he makes those plays because if he does not, he is not likely to get an error. The toughest play of all, the 5 hopper with a slow runner, nowhere for Alvarez to hide and he does not make those plays, due to confidence problems.

    First base is not the answer, he can play first base IMO, but fixing the problem is the way to go, somehow they have to get him down to a lower level in the system where he can operate with no pressure on him and get his confidence back, confidence IMO is his biggest problem.

    • Unfortunately there is no lower level to send him to. He has exhausted all of his minor league options, so in order to send him down the Pirates would have to expose him to irrevocable assignment waivers, which means any of the other 29 teams would be able to claim him with no compensation coming back to the Bucs. And the chances of his being claimed are 100% because he’s cheap and isn’t guaranteed a salary for 2015 (he can be non-tendered like GI Jones was and declared a free agent).

  • I will say that Pedro’s present numbers are Brandon Moss / Jose Bautista like numbers from their Pittsburgh years. What was it exactly that fixed those guys? Anybody know? It was like a switch turned on for them. I find it strange that given the money there is in baseball that there doesn’t seem to be a supplemental source of swing coaches the way there is in golf. Heck, hasn’t Tiger Woods completely reworked his swing several times during his career? Why aren’t there independent experts that they players could hire, independent of the team system, that they could go to in the off season to fix their swings, ala Moss and Bautista were able to do? The agents would be smart to organize their own Academy, or hire their own private experts to coach the athletes in their portfolio one would think.

    • I believe Bautista was something weird like “swinging earlier on fastballs.” So who knows haha

    • I believe Moss said the switch flipped for him when the A’s stopped trying to get him hitting to all fields. They encouraged him to be a pull hitter, which was his natural disposition, and that extra level of comfort helped him turn it around. Maybe they should just let Pedro be Pedro. Tell him to do what feels natural and let his muscle memory get him to a place where he feels good.

    • “What was it exactly that fixed those guys?”
      My guess is a combination of repeated coaching and the players developing the maturity to actually let that coaching sink in.

  • Pedro’s career numbers don’t suggest that he would upgrade 1B

    Pedro: .235/.309/.435/.744
    Sanchez: .255/.334/.414/.748
    Davis: .242/.336/.424/.760

    There has been no real improvement in Pedro’s hitting ability over the last three years. I have to conclude that “what you see is what you get”. This is a real disappointment. But to state the obvious, hitting a baseball is very hard. There are a lot of 1st round draft picks that never make a splash in MLB. I suppose the “next up” for a potential MLB power bat will be Bell (if Lambo stays cursed and Allie can’t raise his OBP).

    • Moustakas, a 3bman taken the year before at #2 has been a disappointment with KC, also.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong – but ins’t 2015 the last year we would expect to see Pedro in a bucks uniform anyway (option year). Why waste the time converting him to a first baseman for part of a year and then trade him, or all year and then lose him. What they should have done is traded him to an AL team at the deadline for some pitching. It’s not like they are using him at this point

    • Yep.

      Well… The last time the bucs had an arbitration-eligible 1b that you could expect an OPS a little better than .800 vs RHP but had a bad year the previous year, they let GI Jones go sign with Miami.

      A move to 1b makes even good pedro alvarez…. 36 HR but high .700s OPS…. just another guy.

      his good 2013 season was good for 3 WAR. he probably wouldve been worth just 2 WAR at 1b.

      just as a comparison, Ike Davis’ best season (3 WAR) was done with a .350 OBP and .791 OPS.

      Pedro’s best season (a partially defense-at-3b-driven 3 WAR) was done with a .296 OBP and a .769 OPS.

      Pedro… and by this I even mean GOOD Pedro… as a 1b just isn’t all that special. Pedro vs Ike could be a fascinating battle in spring training 2015.

      • True jaygray. WAR positional adjustment between 3B and 1B is steep – 1.5 WAR for the same production. Right now neither one is worth a damn (Pedro 0.1 WAR, Davis -0.2), but as a 1B, Pedro’s production would be worth -1.1/-1.2 WAR. Even if you allow that his defense would improve to maybe slightly below average, you’re still looking at Davis as the more valuable guy so far.

        • I’m not a good enough math whiz to figure out what Pedro’s WAR would be w/o the throwing errors, but I have to believe without those 22 throwing errors, Pedro’s 3b WAR would be at least 1 WAR higher, so subtracting 1.5 WAR for the position change would probably make it more of a wash or maybe even give the nod to Pedro.

          • A “typical” Pedro with his career-norm error rate, range and double play making ability – he’s a below average fielder in all aspects – would be 0.6 WAR better than this version. Still less than the positional adjustment. Nod to Ike.

            But you can’t just take that and apply it to the comparison, because (1) first basemen still have to make throws, field bunts, etc, and (2) Pedro has never played 1B before, so you can’t assume that he would be as mediocre at 1B as he is at 3B. He would be worse, certainly worse than Ike, and Ike is having a down year.

            • Thanks for taking a stab at the math. The only rebuttal I’d provide is that Pedro, for all his faults, appears more consistent year-to-year from an OPS+ standpoint. Davis’ career stats benefit from his first two years, which he hasn’t been able to recapture. Pedro’s suffer from the one year he really tanked. Not much of rebuttal, I know, but the old eye test tells me I like the mercurial hot & cold Pedro more than the boring Ike as I do not see Ike ever carrying the team for a couple of weeks. Or in the playoffs.

              • Ike’s 2012 really isn’t so offensively different from Pedro’s 2013.

                i just hope they figure out how to fix one of them. I honestly don’t care which one it is.

                • @jay – Ike’s 2012 is almost exactly like Pedro’s ’12 and ’13. And power can be spiky year-to-year…I mean, Josh Harrison probably isn’t a better power hitter than Chris Davis moving forward just because he is right now.
                  But Ike’s average fly ball distance has tanked into the 270’s for two years running while Pedro is still hovering around 300′. Davis made the swing and approach changes he needed to make in order to be viable and he should be commended for it. But it looks an awful lot like that has come at the expense of his ability to drive the ball. Just not sure we should be using the 2010-2012 Davis as a reference for what we should expect moving forward given the big changes to his game.

            • Good thought experiment, but if we’re going to try and equate performances then it should be noted that Ike never has to face lefties. Far from conclusive that Ike is the better option.

        • I also think you have to consider the differences in how they produce their value offensively. Ike Davis is going on two years of almost a complete loss of power and is still a low average hitter. He’s deriving a huge portion of his value through walks.
          Now I can respect if you’re a pure numbers guys and don’t care how a player derives his value, but I think Pedro’s offensive profile plays far better at 1B than what Ike Davis has become.

          • Fair enough on both points. I still hold out hope that what we are seeing from both players is an aberration. Ike showed power in the 2nd half last season – ISO of .220 post-ASB. I think he still has that in him.

            • You’re absolutely right, Brooks, and if he would have carried anything close to that into this year I could buy into it.
              But personally, I think ISO is way, wayyy too spiky in samples as small as 105 AB to be predictive. Just taking one HR away drops his ISO from .220 to .190, for example. I will say that the guy has launched a couple BIG flies this year, so apparently he’s still technically capable.

    • Pedro is under team control through 2016, which could be good news or bad news, depending on where you stand. Once he filed for arbitration, the “option years” on his original contract were no longer applicable.

      There were rumors that the Pirates were shopping Alvarez at the deadline, but nothing substantiated to the extent that any of the national pundits would tweet it.

  • I don’t understand how they can leave Lambo and his 965 OPS down in AAA considering the trouble they have had at first. I doubt he would be as bad as Gabby and Ike. I know he got hurt at the worst possible time, but he came back and started right where he left off.

    • pilbobuggins
      August 4, 2014 1:50 pm

      I watched lambo this spring trying to man first base,it was not pretty and really messed up his bat as well. I could be wrong but lambo at first does not look like a winning proposition.

      • If you saw him in Florida like I did, I know exactly what you re talking about !

        • Bradenton several times and at lakeland. Looked very out of place at first and out of sorts at the plate.

  • Sean Epstein
    August 4, 2014 8:54 am

    What is the point of having Pedro on the major league roster night now. He is not going to play other than a pinch hitting role. It is blatantly obvious that Hurdle has no confidence in him right now. Would it not make more sense to send him to Indy so he can work out the throwing issue for the short term. I believe he has an option left. Why not send him down until Sept 1 to see if he can get this thing figured out?

    • he does not have an option left, apparently.

      plus… nothing wrong with having a powerful lefty on the bench

      • I just shivered thinking about Pedro coming off the bench rusty after 7 innings inside hos own head. You never know though.

  • I think that the Pedro should buy a pair of sunglasses with a radio in them. So he can jam out and not think about throwing.

  • Last I checked, Pedro had committed only two fielding errors. He has worked his butt off to become better, and now, unfortunately, he has the yips. If not for his throwing woes, we might be touting him for a Gold Glove?

    Sad, really.

  • Cocktailsfor2
    August 4, 2014 7:39 am

    NH isn’t known for selling low, in general.

    I expect to see Pedro manning 1B next season if they can’t get his throwing difficulties at 3B resolved. If Steve Sax (who was voted to the ASG starting lineup whilst leading the NL in errors) could get past it, I’m thinking Pedro can, too.

    • Is this Pedro Manning guy you mention any relation to Archie and his kids? Is he any good? 🙂

    • It took Sax almost 6 years to get over it….we can’t wait that long.

      Most MLB players like Knoblach, Mackey Sasser, et al, have never gotten over it.

      • According to Sax, what fixed the problem was his father, who, while on his deathbed, told Sax that he too had a throwing problem when he was younger and for Sax to remain strong (a story Sax later learned from his mother was pure fiction).

        So if that’s the cure, I don’t think Pedro’s dad is gonna like it very much!

      • Ask Steve Blass, he might have a clue.

  • Just sayin…. are we definitely sure that Pedro is that much more valuable than Ike Davis going forward?

    • In which case you hope that Pedro is Lucas Duda, who’s having himself a pretty decent year.

      • i don’t care if it’s pedro or Ike who becomes Duda. i just hope one does.

        • Although at the end of the day you realistically cannot expect either to become Duda because you’re going to end up with a platoon still at 1B because neither can hit lefties to save their lives.

          • Duda can’t hit lefties either.

            I’m not worried about hitting lefties. Mashing platoon RHB 1b aren’t that hard to find. Gaby Sanchez or otherwise.

  • Personally, I’ve always questioned why Alvarez was ever at 3rd and not at 1st. Wonder why it had to go to the point where his mechanics completely fell apart before they made the obvious move.

    • Not picking a fight, just wanting to start a discussion… but why do you question Pedro starting at 3rd? He’s developed into a really good glove man at 3rd, just if he could throw the ball.

      • But, as Tim pointed out, he’s worked too hard at 3rd. That’s why so many other teams put their pure power hitter at 1st. I agree with Tim – move him to 1st and his bat probably starts responding.

    • Because the defensive metrics had him as an above average defender…it’s just the errors that are the issue. When he could keep his errors below 30 and more importantly his homers above the errors you could justify him being there. Now, with poor offensive production and a pace for 35+ errors enough is enough. If he had 22 HR right now he’d probably still be playing 3B at least for this year.

      • 109 career errors and 101 HR by the way. I’m sure if you knew this would happen when you drafted him you would have passed. But they are in a race and it is what it is so you have to try to get the most out of him production-wise. He will be a platoon-type1B/DH in 2-3 years if not sooner.

        • If I knew he was going to hit 3 HR’s and have a 1.148 OPS in his first 6 playoff games, I would have drafted him and found a good position for him to play. Like – I don’t know – maybe 1st base?

          • Part of the problem is the Pirates haven’t had many 1B or 3B in the high minors that have panned out for awhile. So it’s not like they had anyone to replace Pedro because Harrison was a spare part until 3 months ago. Walker could have played 3B but its not like they had 2B’s either. The system is only just now starting to mature hitting-wise.

            • …none of this explains why they never went out and got anyone…that is another story.

              • They tried,but none of those guys have worked out offensively.

                • That is true. But they did pay 5 mil for Overbay and got Ike Davis. Not exactly world beaters. I guess they did try to get Loney.

  • I personally like the idea of Pedro at 1B. First of all I don’t think of him as to ever being an anchor to our offense, but with the core guys developing around him I’ll take him as a .240 hitter that can hit 30+ HR’s and get close to 100 RBI’s. I think this season defensively has dramatically effected his offense this season and a move to first would most likely get him going. I think it would pay off. Not a fan of moving him. Doubt we would get anything beneficial and I think we can get that power back at 1B.

  • After years of sub-par play by other first basemen I think it’s fair to also ask just how good will Alvarez be at 1b? Ike if nothing else has been very solid with the glove.
    PS: Watching Gaby watch a first pitch fastball last night come right down the pipe and not swing, and then to see him watch another curve right down the middle made me ill. I’ve seen enough of him too. As much as it’s a pleasure to see the team playing well overall, Gaby and Pedro and Ike as well have been really tough to watch.

    • st: The stats say much less about Ike Davis at 1B – 6 errors, .991 fielding percentage is less than average for MLB first basemen. Add in the fact he is not hitting for average or power, and I cannot see any reason why we cannot experiment with Pedro at 1B right now. The Pirates have tried just about everything at 1B and it seems there must be a curse on that position.

      Pedro is at 24 errors at 3B, but he had 27 errors in 2013; he gets to plays, but now with the inability to throw across to 1B, he looks a lot worse. Anyone still remember Chuck Knoblach? I think the Bucs are heading home, and that is the right place to do some fielding work with Pedro at 3B and at 1B. This is a kid with back-to-back 30 HR seasons, averaging 90 RBI’s a season during those two seasons. We talk about him like he is hitting terribly, but he has 15 HR’s (3rd on the club) and 49 RBI (3rd on the club). He was always going to be a first base candidate as he matured, so let’s do it now, and try to find some patience for him at the plate. We have nothing better unless Walker is available to hit 4th against RHP’s.

      • I don’t see the big deal in trying this. Hurdle had Barmes play first base in at least one game this year and put Gaby in RF. Get Pedro a mitt and let’s see.

        This weekend, a friend offered this perspective on the current 1b platoon: “When I see Ike at bat, he’s so bad I wish Gaby was in there. But when I see Gaby at bat, he’s so bad I wish Ike were in there.”

        I don’t know what Gaby’s issue is these days. For the first two months of the season he was better than the umps at knowing where the strike zone was. Now he lets strikes go by and chases crap. Both of them are taking too many called third strikes.

        • Getting called out on strikes with RISP pisses me off just about more than anything else. Not even giving a damn effort when there are RISP and the game on the line should get you benched…then again it is not like we have any real options.

          • not giving a d**n effort, or just being fooled?

            you act as if he went up there fully expecting to not swing the bat because he didn’t feel like it.

            although, I DO agree about not having any real options behind him.

          • This goes back to my “thinking too much” argument. There is no doubt he does and I think it often causes the game to move too fast for him. If you see a first pitch fastball hit it hard somewhere. If you miss you are 0-1. No big deal, he is usually down 1-2 at some point I the AB anyways! Then if pitchers know you will jump them than they will nibble more and it snowballs for you. He has done this at times but then he gets these giant ruts.

    • lonleylibertarian
      August 4, 2014 12:12 pm

      Take a look at the fielding metrics – Ike has no range and is way down the list of first basemen on defense.

      About as good as GI Jones…

      • About the same performance wise as Jones,but much more cost effective.

        • Garrett Jones makes 5 mil this year and Ike Davis 3.5 mil. Throw in the prospect they gave up to get Ike and I think the Pirates ended up slightly worse off than just having Jones. Jones is a -0.2 WAR player this year though so the fact is they lost either way.

          • Nope, Pirates are way ahead. Jones is under contract for next year as well, and given his age and career arc, this is pretty much who Garrett Jones is. So even if you assume Ike does not improve on his career lows at the plate or in the field, he can be non-tendered, saving $4.25M vs. Jones, and that savings is twice Blake Taylor’s expected value as a C prospect.

            • I thought Jones’ 5 mil was for this year but it is next year. Yes, that changes everything. That was a dumb deal by the Marlins.

      • Player: DRS / UZR / UZR/150

        Jones: -26 / -16.8 / -6.2
        Davis: +8 / +5.0 / +1.7