Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has struggled mightily throughout the 2013 Major League Baseball season when it comes to hitting for average. That was until he caught fire at the plate in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak. There is no question Alvarez deserves the National League Player of the Week honor he received on Monday after his dominating performance the past few days.
After batting .393 through seven games, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decided to place Alvarez in the No. 3 spot in the batting order in Sunday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels. The left-handed batter has historically not played well in the spot, but Hurdle went with his gut.
“I do think a time is coming when, through Pedro’s experience and maturity, it’s not going to complicate things for him and he’ll make a seamless transition [into the four-hole],” Hurdle said, according to Pirates.com. “But with [Russell] Martin and [Andrew] McCutchen not in the lineup [and] him being hot — that’s why he’s third today. To read anything more into it is missing the point.”
The move paid off as Alvarez went 2-for-5 with one home run, one RBI and two runs in the 10-9 victory to complete the sweep of the Angels.
During his eight-game hitting streak, Alvarez is batting .393 (13-for-33) with five home runs, 13 RBI, three doubles and six runs. His batting average on the season is still .237 but his power numbers continue to impress. His 19 home runs are tied for second in the NL, while his 51 RBI rank sixth.