Andrew McCutchen was in a slump. He started rather slowly, and then struggled mightily to begin his 2011 season. Nothing appeared to be working for the Pirates centerfielder. He was striking out looking. Swinging. And generally hitting the ball in the air more than he had in the past.
Heading into tonight McCutchen has reached base safely in eleven straight games. He is tied with Matt Kemp for has the second most bombs by a center fielder in the National League. The two blasts he hit last night were statement makers. If only some teammates were on base in front of him, Cutch could have put the exclamation point on the statements.
Pedro Alvarez is in a slump. Opinions differ on the topic of when it will end. The only question in our eyes is when will he break out. Alvarez will be an on-base machine during his career and has been showing that recently.
Looking at the two players, McCutchen’s slump was more concerning to us because he had more time in the majors. We think it’s important to take a closer look at what Pedro has done recently, rather than what he is not doing.
Alvarez missed four games, but was back in action last night. That’s important. Don’t downplay that. Wouldn’t it have been easy for Pedro to go on the DL and take a rehab assignment? He didn’t. We like it.
Alvarez is getting on base again. He has reached base safely in four straight starts and seven of of his last eight.
It’s not power. But it’s a start. It’s improved discipline at the plate.
He is making contact, just not powerful contact. Buckle up. It has to be coming. Heh, Alvarez isn’t backing down so why should a stupid guy like me?
Getting into more favorable counts and showing plate discipline could certainly help El Toro’s (and our) cause. Getting his swagger and his belief back is all that he seems to be missing. It says here it’s only a matter of when he gets it again.
We say by the time you are throwing back brewskis on Memorial Day a slumping Pedro Alvarez will be in the distant rearview.
Next up on Pirates Slump Busters: Pedros Ended Abruptly Will GI Joe Tabata’s?