BALTIMORE – The Orioles are hoping that Pedro Alvarez will start to hit soon. Alvarez, who is batting eighth on Wednesday night, is batting just .143 (4-for-28) in nine games.
He has walked seven times, and his on-base percentage is .314.
“He’s been close. I watch his work. [Bench coach] John Russell knows him real well, had him [in Pittsburgh] when he first came out of the draft,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“He said when it’s good, it’s fun to watch. You’re going to go through times when he’s not quite there. I think he’s getting close to having those times behind him. I think it would mean a lot.”
Alvarez, who has hit more than 30 home runs in a season twice, has only one extra-base hit, a double.
Showalter doesn’t discount Alvarez’s struggles with the switch from the National to the American Leagues.
“There’s a little bit of that,” Showalter said. “We’re facing guys he’s never seen before.”
He didn’t sign until March 10, but Showalter doesn’t want to blame his late signing on his slow start.
“That would be a convenient excuse. He wouldn’t use it. He had a lot of at-bats. It didn’t help. The thing that I was more concerned about than that was the adjustment to a new organization, new team, new spring training, new city. That was a challenge,” Showalter said.
“He’s a mature, smart guy. That would be pretty picky if he used that as an excuse, and I know he wouldn’t. He’s going to be a little streaky here or there, and when he gets it going, he’ll be fun to watch.”