Winter Leagues Recap: Marte Returns

In playoff action out of the Dominican yesterday, Starling Marte returned to his team and picked up right where he left off. He hit a two-run homer in the ninth, as his team’s rally from an early 5-0 deficit fell just short in a 7-6 loss.

Starling Marte homered for the fourth time in his last five games

Starling Marte homered for the fourth time in his last five games

Marte originally left Winter his team back in early December, but returned during the playoffs. This past week, he was back in the states attending a course for rookies in the majors. During his brief four game return before the second departure, Marte homered in three of those games. He went 1-for-5 in last night’s game, driving in another run with a groundout in the seventh inning. Marte has nine RBI’s in his five playoff games.

There are just two days left in the round-robin tournament to decide which two teams will meet in the DWL best-of-nine championship series. Marte’s Leones del Escogido team has a 9-7 record so far, second best behind the 10-6 Aguilas and just ahead of the 8-8 Toros.

Out of Venezuela last night, Luis Sanz threw two scoreless innings in relief. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced, erasing that runner with a double play, then retired the next four batters in a row, two by strikeouts. Sanz came out for a third inning, walking the first batter he faced, before being pulled. He threw 27 pitches, 16 for strikes.

In the U18 National Youth Championships in Australia from today, sixteen-year-old pitcher Nick Hutchings, again saw some time at shortstop. He has struggled in his two pitching appearances, allowing 14 runs(eight earned) over seven innings of work, but he has contributed at the plate and in the field on his off-days. Hutchings came in to play shortstop in the eighth inning and handled his only chance cleanly. He grounded out to first base in his only AB. He is 2-for-4 at the plate, with three RBI’s during the tournament. Sam Kennelly had the day today, resting up for tomorrow’s doubleheader.

In the Australian Baseball League, the Adelaide Heat announced their traveling roster for the upcoming four game series in Melbourne. Zac Fuesser will start Thursday night, while Stefan Welch is the only other Pirates player traveling with the team.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • leadoff

    Marte is going to wear himself out before the season starts, but another positive way to look at it is that Marte is a very slow starter everywhere he has been, maybe this is good for him.