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Pittsburgh Pirates’ Situation at Third Base Could Be Worse

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Pittsburgh Pirates' Third Baseman Pedro Alvarez

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a solid start through the first month of the season. The one glaring area of need is at third base.

Pedro Alvarez started the season at the hot corner, but he was horrendous with the lumber batting just .188. His play in field wasn't much better as he collected four errors in 24 games, and he just hasn't been able to build on last year's semi-successful season. He hit 30 home runs, but had an on base percentage of just .317 and that isn't enough for a guy that is a defensive liability. The former first round pick just isn't living up to expectations, and at 26 he is starting to be a little too old to be a prospect.

The Pirates' other option is veteran Brandon Inge. He only has 20 at bats so far this season because he started the year on the disabled list, so it isn't fair to judge him on such a small sample. Last season he hit just .226 with 11 home runs in 283 at bats for the Oakland A's. At 35 years old he is past his prime and hasn't had a solid season since 2009.

The Pirates should look outside the organization for a solution to this problem. If they are to stay atop the National League Central division, they need more production from the corner infield position.

As bad as things are in 2013, they have been worse in the not too distant past. The last 20 years are littered with guys that manned third base for the Pirates that were less than All-Star quality. So to make you feel better about today's third baseman here are five guys from the past that were worse.

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5. Matt Kata

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kata played for five teams over five seasons. He had an on base percentage of just .258 in his half season with the Bucs in 2007. He was a career .239 with 12 home runs in nearly 700 at bats.

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4. Yamaico Navarro

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Navarro played with the Pirates in 2012 and got just 50 at bats, and in his three years in the majors he hasn't received more than 60 at bats in any one season.

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3. Mike Edwards

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Edwards played 14 games with the Pirates in 2006 and made just 18 plate appearances. He lasted just parts of three seasons in the bigs with three different franchises.

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2. Chance Sanford

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In 1998 Sanford played 14 games with the Pirates, and he batted just .143 in that time. His big league career lasted a total of just 19 games.

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1. Yurendell de Caster

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

De Caster got just two at bats in the majors in his career, and he struck out in both of them for the Pirates in 2006. He did play for the Netherlands squad in the World Baseball Classic this past March.