Alvarez ensuring he can remain at third base
During the last few offseasons, Pedro Alvarez’s conditioning regimen has been a hot topic. So it’s no surprise this offseason would be any different.
Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Alvarez spent 12 weeks living at the Arizona Athletes’ Performance Institute where he engaged in strength, conditioning and weightlifting programs. He also learned about nutrition and followed a strict dietary routine.
Alvarez showed up to Spring Training much fitter and decreased his body fat ratio.
During this offseason, he will not return to API (Athletes’ Performance Institute). But are the Pirates closely monitoring his conditioning?
“He knows what he needs to accomplish this offseason, and we’re going to be in close contact with him — probably much more than he would like,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “But that’s the nature of where we are right now.”
It’s not a question of can he remain at third base, it’s more of how long will he physically be able to play in the hot corner. Alvarez may outgrow the position and so far, nothing has been set in stone and he will remain on a year-to-year basis at third base.
“Defensively, we’ve seen a lot of the issues that we saw [in the Minors],” Huntington said. “He’s very capable of making a great play. He’s got the arm strength. He’s got the hands. He’s got the ability to play third base.
“It’s a matter of the consistent pitch-to-pitch focus and ultimately physical. Does he put himself in position to be able to play the game defensively every single day? And what is the appropriate body composition for him to be able to stay at third base?”
Alvarez committed 17 errors in 276 chances during the 2010 season with the Pirates. The results have been mixed and a move to first would make the most sense (Especially if the Pirates sign third basemen Anthony Rendon in the 2011 draft). However, Alvarez is expected to put in the time and work this offseason to ensure he can remain at third base in the future.