BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been sidelined temporarily by discomfort in his left knee, which he will rest through the weekend. On the alternate-day schedule of regulars, Alvarez was not due to be in Friday's lineup against the Tigers. He got an extended layoff, however, with the club announcing that Alvarez had been removed from Wednesday's game with "inflammation and discomfort in the left knee." "I think he did it more or less running, when he hit a bag or landed a step behind a bag," manager Clint Hurdle theorized.
Alvarez has struggled offensively this spring and is hitless in his last 13 at-bats, including eight strikeouts. Casey McGehee drew a scheduled start at third on Friday and reached base as a hit batter before Matt Hague homered for the Bucs' lone runs. The beneficiaries of Alvarez's absence will be Josh Harrison and Yamaico Navarro, who will get extended playing time at third as they battle for a reserve role. Hague could also pick up some extra innings there but, as Hurdle said, "His bat is giving him a chance. He's not going to make the team on defense -- not that he's bad, but he's a first baseman trying to play third."