Starling Marte Pirates

Winter Leagues: Starling Marte Done With Winter Ball

It was announced yesterday by a few sources that Starling Marte is done with Winter ball this season. His Escogido team, along with teammate Gregory Polanco, will begin the Dominican League finals tonight against Licey. The winner of this best-of-nine series will go on to the Caribbean League World Series against the best Winter League teams from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Marte had a rough Winter season. It started late as he recovered from his regular season hand injury. Two games into the season, he was hit by a pitch on his left hand, which knocked him off of action for a few days. He then hurt his back, which against cost him a few days. Finally, in his last game he sustained a groin injury which ended his season. None of the injuries were considered serious, but the sheer amount was enough to shut him down. He played a total of 12 games, going 12-for-40 at the plate, with one homer, six RBIs, four walks and nine strikeouts.

Harold Ramirez had quite an opening game in the Colombian League finals on Saturday. He went 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, two walks and one run scored. His team won the first game by an 11-1 score.

On the opposite side of that one-sided game was a Pirates pitcher that took one on the chin. Yhonathan Barrios gave up four earned runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. The only out he recorded came on a sacrifice fly.

In Panama from Saturday, Ulises Montilla returned briefly after leaving Wednesday’s game and not playing since. Montilla took one at-bat, then left the game. He was 0-for-1 and that dropped his average to .217 through eight games.

Edgardo Munoz went 0-for-3 with an error in his team’s 4-3 win. Munoz is hitting .225 through ten games. He leads the league with six stolen bases.

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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.

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  • NHPirateFan

    Any Caribbean League World Series games on MLB or other TV?

    • John Dreker

      I searched MLB Network through the end of the month(that’s all they have listed) and there were no live games. They have shown games from the Arizona Fall League and the Australian League in the past, so I wouldn’t rule it out, but for right now, I don’t know of any. Escogido has streamed all of their games live so far, so if they make it, you may be able to watch it on the computer, though obviously it will be in Spanish. If I hear anything, I’ll post it. I once watched the Caribbean League WS during the Super Bowl, so I know they have shown it in the past.

  • leadoff

    It is about time! Marte only has about a month to rest before he has to go back to work, I would have stopped him sooner if I were the Pirates, they also have got to find a way to get his hands out of the way or put some padding on the outside of his hands, if he keeps getting hit in the hands he is going to miss a lot of time somewhere down the line.

    • Paul J Books

      I’m highly concerned about Marte’s ability to stay healthy. While he seems a physical specimen, we have this Hit-By-Pitch thing hanging over like a cloud. Meanwhile he got hurt last year making a bone-head decision to steal third in non-steal situation. I don’t know. Fingers crossed. Love him as a player though. Fantastic promise!

    • Jeff

      I agree and wish Polanco would follow Marte out the door.

      • John Dreker

        Obviously we can’t measure the benefit of playing Winter ball, but Marte saw regular playing time in the Dominican the last two years and that seemed to work out well for him. Polanco also saw plenty of Winter ball last year, though most of it was in their version of minor league ball, but I would say he did pretty well too. The schedule is nothing like the majors or even minors. Players have off-days each week and they take breaks for holidays too, plus Polanco had some time off for multiple reasons during the year. In reality, he has played about 50 games over 90+ days and he had some time off before the season. Your average player in the States is doing some kind of intense off-season workout program during this time and he’s getting his workout on the field.

        I think the real problem will be when he gets to Spring Training games and he is already in game shape, while everyone else is getting ready. He could be tearing the cover off the ball and then you’ll have a lot of unhappy fans when he gets sent down a couple weeks before Opening Day

  • Nick A. Capernicus

    Marge definitely needs some time off. Not just physically but mentally.
    Clemente’s Wall @Facebook

    • Nick A. Capernicus

      Marte* stupid autocorrect

      • John Dreker

        I would have accepted Mars, which is the translation of him name in most articles I read.

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