Although it won’t be with the Pirates, Starling Marte will make his return to the baseball field tomorrow.
This evening, the team announced that Marte will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton.
Marte received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball in April after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Marte will have a 15 game rehab assignment before being eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18th.
It’s being reported by various outlets that Marte will speak to the media tomorrow for the first time since being suspended. In fact, Root Sports is promoting an exclusive interview that’s already been recorded by Rob King with Marte. That interview will return tomorrow on Root before the Pirates/Giants game.
Marte’s suspension was the first of off the field events that have doomed the Pirates 2017 season. Instead of having Marte in the top half of the teams lineup, Clint Hurdle has been forced to have a rotating outfield for the entire season.
Starting on July 18th, the team will field their anticipated outfield of Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco. However, the question is how long will that last?