In the Dominican on Friday night, Starling Marte joined his winter team for their pregame practice and later told reporters that he plans to play this winter to make up for lost games during the season. Marte played five seasons of winter ball early in his career, but hasn't played for Leones del Escogido since the 2013-14 off-season. He was suspended for 80 games this year due to a failed PED test, so it appears that the Pirates are willing to let him make up for that missed time.
Marte wouldn't give a date that he expects to return, but practicing with his team might mean that he expects to be back soon. He might just be waiting for the Pirates to give him permission to start playing. Both Jose Osuna and Elias Diaz are waiting to receive permission from the Pirates to play this winter...
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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.