PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' hopes of getting third baseman Pedro Alvarez back soon took a hit on Tuesday, when Alvarez was forced to exit an extended spring training game because of reoccurring tightness in his right quadriceps.
Alvarez has been dealing with right quad tightness for more than a month now, though he had been participating in extended spring games for about a week and had appeared to be getting closer to heading out on an official rehab assignment.
That's now a moot point, as manager Clint Hurdle suggested that Alvarez will spend the next week simply undergoing treatment on the nagging injury. General manager Neal Huntington did not speculate on how long Alvarez might be down, saying only that the third baseman's symptoms will determine when he can return to the field.
"He was able to tell everybody that it was not responding as he had hoped," Hurdle said. "In his case, he needs to be honest with us. Any athlete does once they're injured. They've got to be honest through the rehabilitation process so we can treat it properly."
The injury initially surfaced during a May 3 game against San Diego. Alvarez exited that contest in the sixth inning and missed the next four games. He made a brief return before landing on the disabled list on May 21, when it was obvious that he could not play through the ailment.
It is certainly not unrealistic now to think that Alvarez might not be back until next month, at the earliest. Following a layoff for treatment, Alvarez will have to slowly resume his rehab work, which will culminate in him needing to play some games with one of the organization's Minor League affiliates.
In Alvarez's absence, Brandon Wood and Josh Harrison will continue to split time at third. So far this season, the Pirates have not gotten much production from their third basemen, who have combined to hit just .212 with four homers and 29 RBIs in the team's first 59 games.