Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez, a two-time first-team All-American and the No. 1 prospect for the 2008 draft, will miss a minimum of six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand in Vandy’s season opener against Oregon State on Friday.
"This is an unfortunate situation for Pedro," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said in a statement. "Obviously we will miss having him in the lineup and in the field. He is a special player that can’t be replaced. This is the kind of injury you don’t rush back from and we hope to have him back at full strength later in the season."
Calls to the Vanderbilt staff to get more details about the injury have not been returned.
Alvarez suffered the injury in his first at-bat but finished the game, going 0-for-2 with two walks. He sat out Vandy’s next two games against Arizona State and Miami (Ohio).
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Giobbi started at third base in Alvarez’ place the next two games, and he figures to be an able fill-in, but clearly losing the Player of the Year front-runner is a major blow to the Commodores. But this is where Vanderbilt’s depth should come up big; the lineup still has plenty of firepower with preseason All-Americans Ryan Flaherty and Dominic de la Osa, and Giobbi (a high school teammate of Flaherty’s at Maine’s Deering High) has good power to the gaps and the ability to hit for average. Though he’s primarily a catcher, he improved his athleticism and versatility significantly in the last year and should be able to hold down the hot corner until Alvarez gets back.
Most teams in the nation would be very pleased with Giobbi starting at third base, and the Commodores should be able to withstand this bad news.
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