I'm looking for opinions here -- at this point, what would you do with Pedro Alvarez? How much playing time would you give him? What advice would you give him?
After going 0-for-4 last night, Alvarez is hitting .195/.259/.391. He doesn't look nearly as lost at the plate as he did at the beginning of the season, but he doesn't look comfortable either, and he's still consistently mis-reading pitches -- passing on hittable pitches, and swinging at worse ones when he gets behind in the count. Alvarez took all four first pitches he saw last night, and all four were strikes. Both his strikeouts last night came on called strikes as well. He's tried mixing it up and swinging at first pitches in other recent games, but nothing's working. When he has made contact recently, it hasn't been hard contact.
So what do you do? At this point, I'd probably keep sending him out there -- legit contenders will usually have begun phasing out a player who hits this badly, but the Pirates really don't have anyone who's obviously better anyway. Watching him turn back into a pumpkin over the past five weeks or so has been hard, though.