Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez has suffered a left foot injury that will likely keep him out over a month, the team announced Wednesday.
Doctors diagnosed Alvarez with "a stress reaction in the 4th metatarsal," a long bone in the foot. The Pirates said the typical recovery time is four to six weeks, which would keep Alvarez off the field until early-to-mid-October. He has not played the field since Aug. 26, making only one pinch-hitting appearance on Sep. 5.
The former No. 2 overall draft pick has slogged through the 2014 season defensively. He committed 23 throwing errors at third base, by far the most at any infield position since FanGraphs began logging such numbers in 2002. The throwing issues forced the Pirates to move Alvarez to first base in mid-August, where he has played only five games.
Alvarez has also gone through offensive struggles after tying for most home runs in the NL last year. His .717 OPS has been about league-average, and he has hit 18 home runs in 445 plate appearances. But his overall slugging percentage of .405 is well below his career average, and his throwing issues made it more difficult for the Pirates to give him continued starts at third base.
After losing his everyday starting job to All-Star Josh Harrison at third base, Alvarez made eight pinch-hitting appearances in August. Harrison continues to start at third for the Pirates, while Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez platoon at first base.