It’s seems that the wait is over: Starling Marte will join the Pirates in Houston, where they open a four-game series with the Astros.
Marte is hitting .286/.348/.500 with 12 HR and 61 RBI in 98 games for Triple-A Indianapolis. He also has 20 doubles, 13 triples, and 21 stolen bases. Marte, who won the Eastern League batting title last season in Altoona, has seen an increase of power, as well as solid defense and speed.
Dejan Kovacevic, as well as many Pirates fans, have been expecting a promotion of Marte over the past few weeks. Between Jose Tabata (who’s at Indy), Alex Presley, Drew Sutton, Josh Harrison, etc., the Pirates haven’t received much production from the corner outfield positions. There have been questions about whether or not Marte is ready for the big leagues, but there’s plenty of hope that he can provide some spark at the top of the lineup.
Kovacevic, who’s on his way to London for the Olympics, also had this to say about Marte, via his Sulia page:
You will like Starling Marte the person even more than the player, and I’m looking forward to that as much as seeing how his skills translate to the majors. He’s a tough kid with a tough background, not easy to get to know but worth it. Has given everything in his life to his family since he lost his mom when he was 10. Also, look for Pedro Alvarez to help him assimilate. Those two hit it off from Day 1 at Instructs a couple years ago. Pedro very much can handle a mentor role.
The Pirates will have to clear two players on the 25-man roster for Wandy Rodriguez and Marte. It hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll update this post when they release the info.
Update: The Pirates’ Twitter account announced that Evan Meek has been sent down to Triple-A Indianapolis as the corresponding move to Marte. Meek pitched just 1.1 innings since being recalled, and has an ERA of 6.75 in 2012. Still no word on how they will make room for Rodriguez.