Apr 25, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) is called out on strikes with the bases loaded by umpire Will Little (93) during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Pittsburgh 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Pedro’s performance against the St. Louis Cardinals looks like this:
Overall, we can see a lot to like here. Although his slashlines aginast Adam Wainright, Lance Lynn, and others aren’t overly impressive, they are very Pedro-like, and are a welcome tradeoff for his RBI totals. For Pedro to make strides against the Cardinals this year, he would do well to lower his strikeout rate against Wainright, which comes in at a gaudy 38.1%. Also of note is that Alvarez will see a lot more of John Lackey this year. In a VERY small sample size, we can see that El Toro has taken Lackey yard twice for solo shots. If my prediction that Pedro bats fourth comes to fruition, the chances for more damage could be there in spades.
Overall, I truly believe that as Pedro goes, so goes the Pirates. He must avoid prolonged slumps and get back to his 2013 form for this team to truly succeed. Yes, they did it last year without him, but as Andrew McCutchen and others have said, there is still work to do. For this team to take the NL Central crown, Alvarez must do well against in-division pitching.
And thus ends my look at how Pedro Alvarez fares against the pitchers he will be seeing the most. Stay tuned as we will perform this same exercise for more of the Pirates hitters.