Winter Leagues: Starling Marte Returns To Lineup

From the Dominican on Saturday night, Starling Marte returned to the lineup and went 2-for-3 with a single, double and walk. He left Thursday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand in the first inning and then he sat out Friday night. Marte has reached base in six of his ten plate appearances.

Gregory Polanco will find out Sunday night if he wins the Dominican League batting title
Gregory Polanco will find out Sunday night if he wins the Dominican League batting title

Gregory Polanco went 1-for-4 with a single. His average dropped slightly, down to .331, but he remains the league leader in batting average. Moises Sierra also has a .331 average, though Polanco still has a slightly higher average. The season is over for both of them, but there is still a player that can catch Polanco. Rafael Ynoa is batting .326 and still has one game left. Ynoa is also the only player that can catch Polanco’s .922 mark for the league lead in OPS.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk. He had two outfield assists. Rojas is batting .238 in nine games.

Carlos Paulino went 0-for-2 before being replaced in the seventh inning. He threw out the only runner that attempted a stolen base against him.

Andy Vasquez got his second start of the season and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He is 2-for-15 on the season. He hit his first homer on Friday night. Vasquez got the start at shortstop.

Atahualpa Severino faced two batters, walking one and picking up one out. It was his 14th straight scoreless appearance. He is still a free agent.

In Venezuela, Andrew Lambo went 2-for-4 with a double, triple and RBI in his team’s 3-2 win. Lambo is hitting .225 now, with 16 RBIs in 26 games.

Junior Sosa went 1-for-4 to extended his hit streak to nine games. He is batting .373 through 16 games.

David Bromberg made his tenth start. He got hit hard, giving up five runs(four earned) on seven hits. He struck out two batters. Bromberg has a 4.10 ERA through 41.2 innings. He is still a free agent.

In Puerto Rico, Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. He is hitting .302 through 14 games.

In Australia from Sunday, Sam Kennelly was back at first base and he went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt and a run scored. Kennelly was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning.

Danny Arribas went 0-for-3 with a walk. He is hitting .171 through 21 games.

In Colombia from Friday, Harold Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch. Since the All-Star break, he is 1-for-12 in three games.

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.

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SteveW

I think you’re thinking of the 2011 Carlos Pena. In 2012, his OPS was .705 vs RHP. Last year it was .629 vs RHP. They’d be much better off with Lambo than the washed-up version of Pena.

leadoff

The Pirates said they do plan on getting some 1st base help, that is the way it was put to me. That could mean someones AAA 1st basemen all the way up to an old left hand vet. Personally I have no clue what they will come up with, I can’t play GM on this one. Heck I do not even know who I would want, maybe a guy like Pena would be someone they would go after, very cheap and would own the right field wall against right handers.

jamminjoe66

Even if Lambo struggles he’ll still have a better offensive year then barmes

IC Bob

I have seen Curry play and unless something drastically changes he will never make it to the majors. Walker has never played first so I am not sure why we believe he would be successful there. I do believe the Pirates will get someone at 1B soon. I doubt we will give up much but I get the feeling that whoever we give up, a number of posters on this board will be upset with it.

leadoff

I have seen Curry too and he does not look very good, but they sometimes take big leaps from year to year. Walker has played 1st base, he said at PirateFest that he has played every position on the field except pitcher and centerfield.

emjayinTN

John: Good news about Starling Marte, but if I were the Pirates I would insist on a pad for the back of his hand and also an elbow guard. It seems that the book on him is to challenge him inside. Good news about Andrew Lambo getting a few hits – where did he play defensively?

Did some further research on the man who will be pulling the trigger on a possible trade for a LH hitting 1B, and came away feeling more comfortable. When NH was at Amherst he was a VG first baseman. Also, very interesting, IMO, is that Amherst grads are making a sort of “new moneyball” mafia. Ben Cherrington, Boston GM, was also a ballplayer and grad of Amherst and like NH, hired 3 Amherst grads on his staff. Then there is also Dan Duquette, B’more Exec VP, who also graduated from Amherst, and gave NH his start by hiring him onto the Montreal staff in the 90’s. John Hart did not graduate from Amherst, but was very influential on the development of NH as his boss at Cleveland, and for years was the Senior Advisor to Jon Daniels, Rangers GM. Hart thinks Mitch Moreland will be the best fit for the Pirates, and now that the signing of Choo is behind them, Texas may want to make a reasonably fair deal. I still do not think that any of that threesome of Moreland, Davis, or Smoak are worth Jose Tabata straight up or Mel Rojas and a possible lower tiered SP/RP. If something does not happen in the next week, I think the Pirates should let it be known that they are satisfied with Gaby Sanchez full time at 1B, with a possible 20-30 starts by Neil Walker at 1B, and that they want to take a very strong look at LH Hitters Andrew Lambo and Matt Curry, who had a tough 2013 with injuries.

DannyB415

Platooning Neil Walker at first with Gaby Sanchez is an intriguing idea, since Walker has trouble against lefties. That would leave Barnes at short and Mercer at second, at least until Alen Hanson arrives.

Even further outside the box, has Travis Snider played first at all? Platooning him with Gaby would leave Tabata (and Lambo?) in right until the long awaited appearance of Polanco.

DannyB415

“Barmes”

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