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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Bucs have help on the way, but enough?

Rumors suggest that the Pirates are about to summon top prospect Pedro Alvarez to the majors; Ron Cook suggests that perhaps only Alvarez can save Neal Huntington's job:

Huntington's probably safe for the moment, so I don't see any point in rushing Alvarez.

Which isn't to suggest Alvarez doesn't deserve a promotion. He's played well in Triple-A this season, while Andy LaRoche, the incumbent at third base, is suffering through yet another awful season. But LaRoche and third base is far from the Pirates' only problem. They've got middle infielders who can't hit, Lastings Milledge looks finished, and Paul Maholm is their only decent starting pitcher.

With Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, the Pirates do have the makings of a decent (and exceptionally young) lineup. But gosh, they sure seem a long way from their first winning season since 1992. Alvarez is going to help Huntington only if Alvarez keys a second-half surge that gets the Pirates out of the basement. Fortunately, the Pirates have regression to the mean and Astros in Houston on their side.