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, which is common for players on the 40-man roster.
In Saturday’s action, Jung-Ho Kang picked up his first hit since Opening Day. He went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout on Saturday. He is 2-for-21 through six games.
Edwin Espinal made his second start and went 1-for-3 with a single, which is the same line he put up in his first game.
In Venezuela, Elvis Escobar went 3-for-5 with three singles, a walk and a run scored. He is batting .375 through ten games and has reached base safely in every game.
In Mexico on Friday night, Carlos Munoz went 0-for-4 in a late ending game. He bounced back on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with three singles and a walk, driving in two runs. He is batting .353 through ten games.