Let me start by saying that at this very moment I am in favor of letting Alvarez start at 3B in the majors and sending down Hague to start the season as the AAA first baseman. I will also add that I know you can not read much of anything into Spring Training numbers. However I am slowly turning to the opinion that allowing Hague to start the season in the majors and having Alvarez start off in the minors may not be that bad of an idea. I am now going to try to defend this opinion. First lets start by looking at both players current spring training numbers.
Alvarez: .167/.192/.417, 24 AB, 1 BB, 10 SO
Hague: .375/.375/.625, 24 AB, 0 BB, 4 SO
As I said I know very little can be gained from Spring Training stats but nonetheless a strikeout rate of 42% makes me very nervous about Alvarez this season. Meanwhile I don’t read too much into Hague’s spring training numbers but the performance he put up in AAA last season, .309/.372/.457 show me that he has nothing left to prove in AAA and deserves a chance in the majors.
Combine Hague’s performance last season with Alvarez’s struggles and also with the likelihood that McGehee will bonce back and the idea of starting Alvarez in AAA and Hague in the majors doesn’t seem so crazy. The way I see it this would give the Pirates a lineup of something like:
That is not a great lineup but if McGehee does bounce back and Hague manages to hold his own that lineup will be good enough to win games with good pitching from the rotation.
Now as for the bench if this were to happen I think the bench would have to look like: