Starling Marte Returns to the Field Tomorrow

Starling Marte

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.

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Upcoming Decisons for Hurdle

Don’t look now but the Pirates are stringing together wins and showing shines of turning around the 2017 season.

Following today’s 9-4 win over Atlanta, the Pirates have now won 8 of their last 12 games.

They’ll have a chance to keep up the winning baseball because starting tomorrow night against the New York Mets, 16 of their next 21 games will be played at PNC Park.

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Perrotto: Gifted Youngster Bell Showing Power Potential

Josh Bell did not drop by the maternity ward of Allegheny General Hospital to deliver gifts and wave to new-born Pirates’ fans Thursday after helping power his team to a 10-4 victory over the Washington Nationals earlier in the afternoon at PNC Park.

The rookie switch-hitting first baseman is shown doing just that on an AGH commercial that airs during Pirates’ game telecasts on ROOT Sports. It’s a cute spot, though Bell hasn’t seen it yet.

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Perrotto: Pirates’ Inability to Field Three Outfielders is Embarrassing

PITTSBURGH — In the latest bit of Pirates’ bad news, right fielder Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals at PNC Park.

Polanco being sidelined by a strained right hamstring means only one of the three members of the Pirates’ celebrated outfield is on the active roster. That is Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting just .214 with six home runs and a .679 OPS in 38 games even after going 2-for-4 with a two-run single Wednesday.

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Perrotto: Even In Decline, McCutchen Deserves More Respect

PITTSBURGH — The move, for the most part, went unnoticed.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle made a double switch at the start of the eighth inning Tuesday night, bringing in left-hander Wade LeBlanc in to pitch and rookie Jose Osuna in to play left field.

Hurdle also shifted Adam Frazier from left field to center field and removed center fielder Andrew McCutchen from the game. The score was just 6-4 at the time in a game the Pirates would go on to lose 8-4 to the Washington Nationals.

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All Things Considered, Pirates in OK Shape

Few teams, if any, have been forced to deal with the early season issues that Clint Hurdle and the 2017 Pirates have been dealt.

However, after looking at all that has gone wrong and then look where the team sits on May 3rd, I’d say things could be a lot worse.

During spring training, the team found out that their starting 3rd baseman and likely cleanup hitter Jung Ho Kang had legal issues and couldn’t get out of his home country of Korea.

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Too Early to Worry About Lack of Clutch Hitting

The numbers are certainly disturbing.

The Pirates have gone 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position during the first two games of their three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds that ends Wednesday night at PNC Park.

In Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss, the Pirates stranded 11 runners. In Monday night’s 7-1 loss, they left eight runners on base in the first three innings then never had another baserunner over the final six innings.

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