Pedro Alvarez’s Place in Recent History

Pedro Alvarez isn’t incapable of making a good defensive play. Here is one from not long ago!

Unfortunately, this sort of thing has been far too common:

The Pirates are trying to figure out what to do with Alvarez, because they’re in the middle of a pennant race and his throwing errors are piling up. It helps for them to have Josh Harrison available, but then they also just lost Andrew McCutchen, and Alvarez might not be suited to move to first base anyhow. Alvarez has never been a total stranger to throwing errors, but, we have such data going back to 2002. Here are the highest single-season throwing-error totals over that span:

(1) 23, Pedro Alvarez (2014)
(2) 18, Mark Reynolds (2008)
(3t) 16, Julio Lugo (2004)
(3t) 16, Chad Tracy (2004)
(3t) 16, Edwin Encarnacion (2006)
(3t) 16, Edwin Encarnacion (2008)
(3t) 16, Ryan Braun (2007)
(3t) 16, Starlin Castro (2011)
(3t) 16, Pedro Alvarez (2012)

Already, Alvarez has the highest total by five, and the Pirates have another 51 games left to play. It remains to be seen how many games Pedro Alvarez has left to play, but the Pirates are trying like hell to get to the bottom of this because this isn’t only important for the short-term — the state of Alvarez’s defense could determine whether or not he’s tendered a contract for next year. He’ll be up for about $5.5 million – $6 million in arbitration, and his WAR right now stands at 0.0. It’s hard to imagine that Alvarez could be non-tendered, but it’s also hard to imagine setting a recent high for throwing errors before the regular season’s trade deadline.

The quirk of it: a year ago, Alvarez finished with 12 throwing errors and 15 fielding errors. This year, he’s at 23 throwing errors and one fielding error. So Alvarez improved in one area and got worse in another, not unlike how he’s reduced his strikeouts but also reduced his power. It’s been an eventful season for Pedro Alvarez. It’s also been a much worse season, but I wanted to be nice. Not a lot of people out there right now being nice to Pedro Alvarez.

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.