Starling Marte has received permission(link is in Spanish) from the Pittsburgh Pirates to play Winter ball in the Dominican. He will be teammates with Gregory Polanco on the Leones del Escogido club. The two will likely play alongside each other, with Marte in left field and Polanco remaining in center field.
Marte wasn’t allowed to play from the start of the season due to an agreement between MLB and the Caribbean League teams known as the “Extreme Fatigue” rule. Basically, if a player gets too many at-bats during the regular season, they are put on a list of ineligible players for Winter ball. Those players are then eligible, with their team’s permission, to start play on December 1st. The Extreme Fatigue rule also applies to pitchers and it has kept Stolmy Pimentel out of Winter ball.
Last Winter, Marte played 29 games for Escogido, hitting .304 in 112 at-bats, with an .845 OPS, 24 runs scored, 20 RBIs and 13 walks. He also put up similar numbers for Escogido in 2011, posting an .836 OPS in 30 games.
While Polanco and Marte were also teammates last year for Escogido, they didn’t play together in the same outfield. Polanco served as Marte’s back-up in center field and had just 36 plate appearances all season.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
I guess his hand is all better then, at least I hope.
Nice to see marte getting some extra at bats this winter. He could prob stand to run a few laps after seeing him eat at Arby’s. lol.