Pittsburgh Pirates star outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended by Major League Baseball for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
There were no injuries to the club coming out of spring training, which was good. Of course, those good vibes are now erased, 13 games in the season. Starling Marte, the Pirates best player in 2015 is going to miss 80 games for testing positive for steroids. In fact, the steroid he tested positive for is an inject only steroid. *UPDATE on the steroid he took from Jeff Passan*
This is fantastic news for 29 other teams. The Pirates now will likely look to trade for an outfielder or perhaps start the clock on Austin Meadows, either one is a win for everybody but Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates released this on the team’s official website,
"“The Pittsburgh Pirates fully support MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement, including the very tough penalties for violations of its prohibitions,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said. “We are disappointed that Starling put himself, his teammates and the organization in this position. We will continue to fight for the division title with the men who are here and will look forward to getting Starling back after the All-Star break.”"
Without even playing a game tonight, the Pirates playoff chances took a huge dive. Jung Ho Kang still has visa issues, and who knows how long it will be until his return if ever this season. Marte can return against the Brewers in July. The kicker? He can’t play in the playoffs if the Pirates are able to reach, but without Marte, those odds seem slim.
In a statement released by the players association, Marte said,
"“With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much,” he said. “I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me. God bless you.”"
This is a big blow to the Pirates, but Austin Meadows can be called up without losing a year of service time. That, and only that is the one positive.