Starling Marte set to Begin Rehab Assignment

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Starling Marte
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Starling Marte /
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Starling Marte has been suspended since April 18th, but he will begin his rehab assignment on his way back from suspension on Sunday afternoon

On April 18th, the 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates received a massive blow. This blow came when outfielder Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for PED use. However, his return is getting near.

Starling Marte is eligible to return from his suspension on when the Pirates host the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on July 18th. He can begin a rehab assignment sooner, though. In fact, that rehab assignment will begin today.

During his suspension, Starling Marte has been working out at the Pirates’ facilities at Pirate City in Bradenton. That is where he will begin his rehab assignment on Sunday when he plays for the High-A Bradenton Mauraders.

The Mauraders play at 1:05 PM this afternoon at LECOMM Field. Starling Marte will, most likely, be making the start in left field.

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Prior to getting suspended Starling Marte was off to a slow start. In 59 plate appearances he owned a 28.8 percent strikeout rate, .288 on-base percentage, .284 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 74. He had hit 2 home runs and stolen 2 bases.

Despite his slow start to the season, getting Starling Marte back will still improve the Pirates. Even with the re-emergence of Andrew McCutchen, he is still the team’s best two-way player.

Getting Marte back will not just improve the Pirate lineup, but it will also improve the team’s defense. Marte is arguably the best defensive left fielder in baseball. His defense is infinitely times better in left field than Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna, the three main players who have played left field instead of him.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently sitting at 37-44. This puts them 6 games out of first place in the National League Central and in dire need of a boost. Hopefully, Starling Marte will provide this boost in a few weeks.