PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Former Major League second baseman Steve Sax joined Bob Pompeani Saturday to discuss Pedro Alvarez’s struggles throwing to first base.
Sax encountered similar problems during his career, offering insight to Alvarez’s situation, saying that it’s not mental.
“There’s nothing wrong with Pedro Alvarez. There’s nothing wrong his arm, there’s nothing wrong with his mind. He does not have a mental block,” Sax said. “What it is, it’s a confidence issue. Once he gets over that and gains his confidence back, he’ll be 100 percent outstanding like he was before.”
Pompeani asked Sax how he was able to fix things.
“I made every ground ball in practice like it was a game. So what I did was essentially I switched the roles. Practice was now a game time and game time was almost a trivial thing. Because I had already just done it in practice. And so, I started gaining confidence that way in practice, and it spilled over into the games. And it was over. The thing got over pretty quickly after that,” Sax said. Sax also gave credit to his manager, Tommy Lasorda, for keeping him in the lineup.
Sax said that he would keep Alvarez in the lineup. Pompeani asked if the Pirates can afford to do that and risk more errors while being in a playoff race.
“And that’s the question you have to ask, because can you afford not to have his bat in the game? Maybe one or two home runs that he hits down the stretch makes the difference as well,” he said. “So that’s the kind of question that they’re going to have to ask themselves.”