PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — As Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez continues to struggle at the plate, I’m sure the temptation would be to either bench him or send him back down to the minors for some fine-tuning.  I say neither option is the right one.

I understand what’s expected of Alvarez.  He’s a No. 1 draft pick.  He’s supposed to be the power hitter the Pirates have been craving for years.  He’s supposed to hit home runs and smack doubles off the Clemente wall at PNC Park.

My take is, he will, in time.

It’s important to remember that Alvarez is a notorious slow starter and that his hitting has improved at every level he’s played at.  This is the Major Leagues.  It takes time to consistently do well at the plate. 

Alvarez will always be a player who struggles against lefties and strikes out a lot.  That’s what you get when you have a left-handed power hitter.  Heck, Ryan Howard of the Phillies is a prime example. 

Alvarez WILL hit, he works too hard and cares too much about the game.

Fans, media and especially the Pirates are going to have to be patient with El Toro.  The best way to get out of a hitting slump is to..well..hit your way out of it.  I believe Alvarez will, and when he does, LOOK OUT!

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