PITTSBURGH -- The night after Pedro Alvarez's debut at first base, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle indicated it would take an emergency for the slugger to again be seen playing third base this season.
Emergencies do happen. There was one only last weekend, when shortstop Jordy Mercer's forearm injury pressed Alvarez into third-base service in Washington.
"Right now, I think we have a better option in Josh Harrison," Hurdle said. "This season, right now -- to put the best team that I can on the field every night, we have better options. We have to find [Alvarez] some at-bats. Is third base the optimum place to get them? No, it is not."
After four consecutive starts at shortstop, Harrison was back at third base Tuesday, with Mercer's return.
However, Alvarez was not back at first. After an 0-for-4 output on Monday night, Alvarez was on the bench in favor of Ike Davis, another left-handed hitter.
"Everybody is going to have to get some at-bats," said Hurdle, who included right-handed-hitting first baseman Gaby Sanchez in that sentiment. "There's a certain method I have in mind. We're not going to quit on anybody. Pedro has shown us a bat that can get white-hot. It hasn't this year."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less