Alvarez increased his pre-game workouts at first base over recent days, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Alvarez's typical pre-game routine involves taking groundballs at first base, but the level of the activity increased and he's nearing the point of playing there in a game. Houston manager Dusty Baker wanted to put him there in a game last week -- during last week's blowout 11-2 win over the Mariners -- but Alvarez felt he wasn't ready yet. "We feel he can do it, just in the future. He's been working there a lot," Baker said. First base is not foreign to Alvarez, who made 39 starts there in the minors.

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