Very little action on the schedule Monday, but the Starling Marte situation always has something new each day. The soap opera started with him leaving a game early last Sunday. He then missed the next two games and had a team off day on Wednesday. The word we got was that he was just resting, but then it came out that he had a minor back injury.
Marte returned on Thursday, played Friday as the designated hitter and then sat out Saturday and Sunday. That’s when we heard that the Pirates shut down Marte for an undetermined amount of time. That came one day after Marte gave an interview in which he said he was fine.
Yesterday, the Escogido GM Moises Alou said that the Pirates didn’t shut him down and he was just resting. Despite saying he was fine four days ago, Marte won’t play until the Dominican League finals, assuming his team makes it to the finals. They need just one win in their last four, or one loss from the third and fourth place teams. The round robin tournament wraps up on January 17th, so Marte will rest at least nine days. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.
Gregory Polanco is back with Escogido, but his actual return to action date hasn’t been announced. He hasn’t played since December 30th and was scheduled to return to action on Sunday. He could play tonight or could take the Marte route and return for the finals. Polanco attended a four day event in Washington DC for young players called the Rookie Career Development Program. He also attended the Pirates mini-camp last week. What is known with Polanco is that he will pick up his MVP and Rookie of the Year award on January 18th at an award ceremony.
We haven’t posted any news recently from the Venezuelan or Mexican Leagues and that’s because no Pirates players have played there since the playoffs started.
In Colombia, the Leones team that has Oderman Rocha and Yhonathan Barrios, has a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five playoff series. Neither Pirates player has pitched yet in the series. The Tigres team with Tito Polo and Harold Ramirez, is waiting to face the winner of the Leones series. That series will be a best-of-seven series.
From actual on field action in Panama, Ulises Montilla went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored on Sunday. He is 4-for-14 with two walks and four RBIs through four games.
Edgardo Munoz went 1-for-5 with a run scored, stolen base and three RBIs. He is hitting .286 through five games.
Finally, a video from Australia. This is Pirates catcher Danny Arribas from two weeks ago getting steamrolled by Patrick Leonard of the Brisbane Bandits and Tampa Bay Rays. After the collision, Arribas gets in the face of Leonard and Josh Roberts of the Bandits sucker punches Arribas. Roberts got a six game suspension for his actions and Arribas actually stayed in the game and caught the last five innings