PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez was back with the Pirates on Friday, and he spent time on the other side of the diamond.
Alvarez was activated from the bereavement list prior to the Pirates' series opener against the Padres, and the error-ridden third baseman took grounders at first base after fielding some at his usual post during batting practice. Reliever Ernesto Frieri was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.
Alvarez leads the Majors with 24 errors this season -- all but one of which has been because of his arm. The throwing problems have worsened for Alvarez as the season has progressed, and he's committed six errors in his last 11 starts.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was asked about the possibility of Alvarez switching positions earlier in the week, but deflected the question.
Alvarez has seen his playing time decrease due to the problem, as he started just once in the final three games before going on the bereavement list. And in that one start, Alvarez made two poor throws -- one went for an error -- and he was pulled in the sixth inning.
Currently, the Pirates have a platoon of left-handed hitting Ike Davis and righty Gaby Sanchez splitting time at first. Alvarez, who hits left-handed, has a slash line of .246/.336/.432 against righties this season, while Davis' numbers are .254/.368/.398.
Meanwhile, Frieri, who was the recipient of a late June trade with the Angels for Jason Grilli, never found his footing with the Pirates. In 14 games, the right-hander had a 10.13 ERA and 1.781 WHIP.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.