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Alvarez sent to the minors

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BRADENTON, Fla. — Pedro Alvarez was the first casualty this afternoon when the Pirates began a big round of roster cuts.

Alvarez, the Pirates’ first-round draft pick last year, was called into manager John Russell’s office around 1 p.m. and was told he’s being reassigned to minor league camp.

“It was a lot of fun,” Alvarez said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I took it all in, and it was great. It was a great thrill and I learned a lot.”

The Pirates today will reassign eight or nine players. Reliever Jeff Sues, catcher Steve Lerud and pitcher Jimmy Barthmaier also were sent out.

Prospect Jose Tabata will not be included in this round of cuts. He’s in the lineup for tonight’s game against Tampa Bay. Tabata will be sent to the minors once Eric Hinske and Brandon Moss have recovered from injuries.

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