In what seems to be an annual occurrence, Bucco fans are promptly worried about Pedro Alvarez’s slow start. He looks like a disaster on the field at times, but his 448 ft. blast on Thursday night was a display of his sheer power:
You may recall that Alvarez collected just two hits in his first ten games of the 2012 campaign. Ironically, they were both home runs. But it wasn’t until April 21st of last season that his batting average raised over the .100 mark, and after that, he went on a tear. In 12 games from April 21st to May 4th, El Toro hit .395 (17 for 43) with four doubles, five homers, and 13 RBI.
After Thursday night’s ballgame, Pedro was batting .104 through his first 15 contests of 2013. Could last night’s monster home run – his first of the season – give him the confidence he needs to break into a hot streak?
Keep in mind, Alvarez has been (and likely always will be) a very streaky hitter in his professional career. Immediately after that April 21 – May 4 stretch last year, he went hitless in his next 18 at-bats over six games, including eight strikeouts. Hopefully he evolves into a more consistent hitter, but the team, its fans, and Pedro himself just have to deal with some of his ups and downs.
This weekend would be an excellent time for Pedro to breakout. Starting tonight (Friday the 19th), the Bucs still have 13 consecutive games before another off-day, including a ten-game road trip. Brandon Inge, who can stay in Class AAA Indianapolis until the middle of next week, is lurking; the club seems to like his versatility and might give him a shot. This would provide Clint Hurdle with a right-handed bat to play third base if Alvarez continues to struggle.
Hopefully he busts out of it and starts hitting some more titanic shots, like this.