Starling Marte

Winter Leagues: Marte and Escogido Win Without Polanco

From the Dominican on Thursday night, Starling Marte went 1-for-5 with a single in his team’s 4-1 win. During the Dominican League regular season, Marte went 3-for-7 with a walk and two hit-by-pitches in three games. In the playoffs, he is now 4-for-20 with two walks in five games.

Marte was without his Pirates teammate Gregory Polanco, who is attending the MLB Rookie Career Development Program. Polanco’s GM Moises Alou said that he isn’t expected back until next week. The program is four days long and held in Washington DC. It is set up to help players prepare for life in the big leagues.

When Polanco was the designated hitter in a game last week, Marte moved over from left field to take over in center field. With Polanco gone last night though, Marte stayed in left field.

From Friday in Australia, Danny Arribas went 0-for-2 with a walk, run scored and hit-by-pitch. He is now hitting .169 through 26 games. Arribas was behind the plate after starting in the designated hitter spot on Thursday.

If you missed it from yesterday, we recapped the season in Puerto Rico and gave a preview of the playoffs, which start tonight.

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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.

Winter Leagues: Playoff Preview From Puerto Rico

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Winter Leagues: Marte Drives In Four Runs In 4-3 Win

  • piraddict

    Hi John, does Polanco’s attendance indicate that the Pirates are serious about Polanco joining the MLB club early in the season? Or is this something that all new AAA players attend?

    • John Dreker

      It just means they expect him to be in the majors sometime this year and they usually send the better players. Pedro Alvarez went in 2010 and made his debut that June. Neil Walker went in 2009 and made his debut Sept 1st, while Starling Marte went last year and he had already made his debut the previous July. So judging by those three, you can’t make any timetable assessments due to him attending the program.

      • piraddict

        Thanks John! Interesting that they didn’t send Cole or Mercer.

        • John Dreker

          I don’t have the list of players that went so they may have, I was just using those three as examples. I don’t even think any other Pirates new source reported this because it’s not really something that is put out there to the media. I just happened to read on Twitter that he was going to Washington for four days in January and put two and two together. Later, Moises Alou gave an interview and mentioned the program by name. It was all in Spanish, so most people wouldn’t have noticed it

          • piraddict

            You are quite the sleuth Dr. Dreker, what case is Sherlock Holmes on today?

            • John Dreker

              You’ll just have to read tomorrow’s article to find out…which means I have no clue yet

  • Pie Rat

    Did you say they live stream the Dominican winter league games? I did see a game cast to follow the games. I noticed Lambo is still listed on the Lara team, but hasn’t played in the last few games. What role does Moises Alou play for Palanco? In hindsight would Moises Alou have helped the Pirates more than Zane Smith? He would have followed Bonds very nicely.

    • John Dreker

      They do live stream the Dominican games at

      Lambo’s season ended right before Christmas. His team had just four games left after the Christmas break and they were already eliminated from the playoffs, so he didn’t return after the break.

      Moises Alou is the GM of the Escogido team

      It’s hard to say what would have happened with Alou because he career took a huge detour after he was dealt, he missed the entire 1991 season. You can’t predict how that would have played out if he stayed in Pittsburgh. Assuming he stayed though, he probably would have had a little more value than Smith did in Pittsburgh in his 4 1/2 seasons before leaving via FA. Alou would have also likely been dealt for a return at the 1996 trading deadline, so he would have had value there. Short-term though, Smith was key in the 1990 pennant run, was an innings eater the next year and pitched well in 1992, so he paid off. He was only signed through the end of 1990, but what are the chances he would have signed with Pittsburgh had he not be there for the end of the 1990 season?

      Alou’s five best seasons came after he would have left Pitt via free agency(or trade) so it’s not as huge of a loss when you look at it from that perspective instead of just looking at career stats.

  • Pie Rat

    I thought I had seen that trade listed as a bad trade for the Pirates, but when you look at the whole picture it’s not. Hopefully he was a good influence on Polanco and Marte.

    • John Dreker

      Well they also gave up Scott Ruskin, who could have been a decent bullpen arm during that time and Willie Greene, who could have been a bench option for a few years, especially those lean years after 1992. Pirates didn’t win the trade but I wouldn’t call it a bad deal considering what they ended up getting from Smith. If they won a WS one of those three years, you would call it even. It was a chance they had to take at the time

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