Starling Marte’s Dominican league team, Leones del Escogido, announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Pittsburgh Pirates have shutdown Marte for the winter. Over the weekend, Marte injured his hand on a stolen base, receiving a spike wound during a slide into third base. He was originally scheduled to end his winter on December 21st, although his team held out hope that he could continue into the playoffs. Marte would have needed permission from the Pirates to continue to play, which likely wasn’t going to happen.
Between the injury and the timing, the Pirates felt it was a good time to stop his off-season so he can get rest before Spring Training starts. Escogido is fighting to hold on to their playoff spot, so this prevented Marte from rushing back to help his team.
In 30 games this winter, Marte hit .277/.333/.438, with three doubles, three triples, three homers and a 6:25 BB/SO ratio. His numbers were much better as the season went along, which often happens for players who join the league in progress. Marte had a .185 average through 15 games and was striking out a lot, but he hit .444/.512/.694 in his last ten games, with just four strikeouts.
There is some good news attached to his early departure. Escogido made a few roster changes, including the additions of Pablo Reyes, who hasn’t played since November 28th. Oneil Cruz, who was the key piece in the Tony Watson trade, has also been added to the active roster for the first time. Both are available for tonight’s game.