Alvarez likely to begin season in No. 6 spot
Opening day is fast approaching and 7 starters will be in the lineup for the Pirates this afternoon as the Bucs take on the Houston Astros at 1:05 p.m.
Clint Hurdles 1-6 batters appear to be shaping up for opening day with Andrew McCutchen (.357) in the 3-hole and Lyle Overbay (.398) in the cleanup spot.
One surprise in camp has been Pedro Alvarez not solidifying a 3-5 spot in the lineup.
Alvarez who is batting .240 this spring, remains in the No. 6 spot this afternoon and that’s where he’s likely to begin the season.
In 50 at-bats, Alvarez has 0 home runs and 7 RBI’s. He’s still a work in progress in dealing with off-speed pitches, most notably breaking balls.
Jose Tabata will begin the season as the Pirates leadoff hitter and Neil Walker is expected to bat 2nd in the lineup.
Tabata (.222) has not hit well this spring and Walker (.204) has also struggled.
Brian Burres (1-0) who has pitched 9 scoreless innings this spring, will get the start for the Pirates today. With Joe Beimel unlikely to be ready for opening day, Burres is in the hunt the begin the season as one of the Pirates two left handed relievers, if they go that route.
Today’s lineup is clue of what to expect on opening day, aside from Ryan Doumit starting at catcher.

Today’s Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Matt Diaz, RF
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
7. Ryan Doumit, C
8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
9. Brian Burress, P