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.

10 Responses to “Pedro Alvarez’s Place in Recent History”

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  1. Danny C says:

    He needs to get in dress code. The hat over the ears thing looks foolish.

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  2. maguro says:

    That particular play was actually scored an error on Ike Davis, and it wasn’t one of Alvarez’s worst throws this year by any means. He has thrown a crazy number of balls clear into the firstbase stands this year.

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  3. attgig says:

    Why can’t Alvarez play first?

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  4. Pirates Hurdles says:

    To add some detail to this, Pedro is throwing fine on difficult plays where he just reacts. It is the routine plays where he has time to crow-hop, pat the glove, etc. that he is airmailing. Clearly a mental issue, he is not struggling with all his throws.

    The non-tender remark; I really think there is no way that would happen. I can’t imagine any team would release the reigning NL HR champ. A trade or a move to 1B seems much more likely.

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    • Spa City says:

      Agreed. Non-tendering him would be the ultimate in selling-low. He still draws walks and his strikeout rate has declined a bit (down to 24% from 30%). His errors are on throws, of course, so he should be able to field 1B effectively.

      The move from 3B to 1B turned E5 into a star player. It is at least worth a try for Pedro, right? The Bucs took a $5m gamble on Edinson Volquez, and that has worked out fine. I would think a $6m gamble on Pedro is a no-brainer.

      It seems much more likely they non-tender Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez.

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  5. Lenard says:

    Surprised to see that Zimmerman is not on the list considering all the hullabaloo his throwing arm has caused over the years.

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  6. Jason B says:

    E5 was a well earned nickname, back in the day!

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