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Pregame: Pedro Alvarez accepts 'opportunity' to play first base

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Alvarez willing to move to first base

In the past 24 hours, Clint Hurdle had two "engaging" conversations with Pedro Alvarez. In the first one, Hurdle asked Alvarez whether he was "open to the opportunity to move over to first base and taking some balls ... to get a feel for it." Hurdle said that Alvarez "gave it some thought, came back, him and I had a long conversation, and he wants to do whatever he can do to help this ball club win games."

Alvarez echoed Hurdle's characterization of the situation by describing the experiment as an "opportunity," and adding that he wanted to "help this team in any way possible."

Neither Alvarez nor Hurdle described the move as permanent.

"We haven't even found out if he can play [first base] yet," Hurdle said. "We'll take it one step at a time ... We have not closed the book on third base right now."

When Alvarez was asked if he still considered himself a third baseman, he responded firmly, "Absolutely."

"[I'm] just working through some adjustments and some necessary mechanical adjustments, so the work is not going to end, obviously. The desire to be the best third baseman I can be is still in play."

Alvarez can't remember the last time he played a position other than third base, and he wasn't sure when he might be ready to play first in a game.

"Obviously, right now we're taking it on the fly, on the go. [I'm] trying to get as comfortable as possible, as quick as possible."

Hurdle spoke highly of Alvarez's desire to continue working on whatever is causing his throwing issues and returning to form on both sides of the ball.

"I know this man is committed to doing whatever it takes to be a Hall of Fame third baseman, to be a feared hitter in the middle of lineup, and to do whatever is asked of him to help the ball club."

Logjam at First?

With Alvarez likely getting some starts at first base, the Pirates may have an emerging issue with having a surplus of first baseman. To that end, Hurdle said that Gaby Sanchez is "taking balls at third" and the team will review the situation if things work out with Alvarez at first.

Walker update

After a full workout yesterday, Hurdle said that Walker reported "feeling well" today. The team would like to get another long "full workout" from Walker today to see if he is a usable player off the bench.