Exhale: Starling Marte X-Rays Negative
By Tom Smith
The Pittsburgh Pirates have nearly 30 players that have spent some time playing ball this winter. You’ve heard about most of them by now, but Starling Marte just jumped into action in the Dominican the other night. The Pirates left fielder didn’t play Friday because he left Thursday’s game after being hit by a pitch in his very first plate appearance.
It shook us up a bit considering that we had heard from Neal Huntington that the Bucs were going to look into having Marte wear a special glove on the hand that he is so adept at getting in the way of the baseball. We had heard that Marte isn’t a big fan of the idea because it certainly would take some getting used to.
The good news is all of the tests were negative as reported by John Dreker at Pirates Prospects. He was back in the box yesterday getting some hacks.
One player that has made the most of winter ball is Gregory Polanco. The 6’4″ outfield has some gaudy numbers with just one game left before the postseason including a .333 average in 43 games. The lanky Polanco has stolen seven bags, scored 28 times while driving 28 and has piled up 28 walks.
The power numbers are showing as well with five bombs and ten doubles.
It’s always cool to us that players like Marte feel so obligated to play winter ball. Roberto Clemente kept the tradition alive way back when and it’s nice to see Marte wanting to do the same. We just wish he could get the hell out of the way more often.