One of the more intriguing decisions coming is whether third baseman Pedro Alvarez will be among those arriving in Pittsburgh during the upcoming homestand. In 14 games since being sent down, Alvarez is batting just .154 with two doubles and two homers. He has struck out 20 times in 52 at-bats.
Alvarez will finish the season in Indianapolis, and manager Clint Hurdle did note that Alvarez would benefit from continuing to get at-bats. The organization is pushing Alvarez to play winter ball during the offseason.
There could also be some at-bats available with the Pirates, too, over the final three weeks, though Hurdle emphasized that if Alvarez returns, he would not jump back into an everyday role.
"I don't think there is entitlement right now for Pedro," Hurdle said. "I think Pedro has to earn his way. He needs to figure some things out in this environment. We are having some conversations on whether it'd be beneficial for him to come back."
In 56 games with the Pirates this year, Alvarez hit .196 with three homers and 15 RBIs. He struck out 67 times in 194 at-bats and committed 13 errors at third.