It all sounds so funny to us. Yesterday in Grapefruit League action, the Pittsburgh Pirates got another solid performance from Starling Marte. It’s starting to become a trend. Marte was in the leadoff spot in Clint Hurdle’s lineup and he kept right on producing for the second year manager.
In the latest edition of Marte Succeeds Again, our hero was facing the Philadelphia Phillies Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. The 6’1″ Marte lead off the game with a bomb.
When a rookie hits a leadoff homerun against the Cy Young winner, it opens some eyes. It can validate what many have felt about Marte especially when the 23-year old is leading the Pirates in the homerun category with three.
After the other eight teammates were retired by Lee, Marte stepped back in and proved his first inning bomb wasn’t a fluke. Marte smoked the baseball off the left hander Lee’s glove into centerfield for a single. The two-for-two showing against the best of the best forced Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle to downplay what the Pirates talented outfielder had accomplished.
“What he did was hit balls that were left out over the plate,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Yeh, that’s right skip. Want to add this to your sentence just to make things crystal clear?
What the kid, who is going to AAA and we ain’t changing our mind on that, did was hit balls that were left out over the plate.
Or maybe Hurdle should have said this…
What Marte did was something the other eight men in our lineup didn’t do off Lee early in the game. He barrelled a couple up. Now whether it was because the other eight men didn’t get any balls that were left over the plate, or they simply couldn’t produce is something we will need to take a look at on the tape.
Look, we get what’s going on. The Pirates have a talented monster on their hands. Whatever they do, they need to hold Marte down. And of course they will, the team isn’t in a dire need to sell tickets a la the Pedro Alvarez push a few years ago.
So the Pirates brass has carefully selected their words when asked if Marte could make the club. The response had been a bit more detailed, but the other day on 93.7 The Fan we heard the simple answer: “No.” Of course it’s the right call, Marte has work to do. He needs to be in AAA to work on his biggest weakness.
But with such immediate success this spring, perhaps Marte hasn’t realized the importance of patience at the plate for a big leaguer. Typically a player will struggle during their first time up in spring training. But not Marte. He has been successful without showing much awareness or patience at the plate.
If all these homers keep piling up, sooner or later one might expect Marte to refer to himself in the third person. Wait…shit…he did that yesterday.
“I’m an aggressive swinger. Sometimes when I look to be patient, that’s when I fall into trouble,” he said. “So I have to continue to be Starling Marte.”
We will try and pull our best Clint Hurdle and divert your attention to something else. Enjoy these Marte hits….
And if you didn’t check out the article, when Singer asked if he would be disappointed if he didn’t make it to the majors, Marte said:
“No, no, no — definitely not, because I have no control over that. I’ll just keep playing to the best of my abilities in Triple-A.”
Now that sounds better. Could you imagine if he would have dropped a Starling Marte in where the I was?
Happy St. Patricks Day everyone.