In the Dominican League yesterday, there was news on two Pirates players. Gregory Polanco will rejoin his Escogido team today and Starling Marte was shut down by the Pirates due to his back injury. Marte left last Saturday’s game early then missed Sunday’s game and sat out on Monday. His team was off on Tuesday and he returned to the lineup Wednesday, though he left early with the score out of hand. Marte was the designated hitter on Thursday, but he sat out the last two days.
According to Leo Lopez, Marte was shut down by request of the Pirates until further notice as a precaution. Marte said in an interview on Friday that it was a minor issue with his back. He said late Saturday that he hasn’t felt very well and is resting.
One thing that could come from this, is if Marte is healthy, he could play in the league finals. Prior to this week, General Manager Moises Alou said that Marte would leave after the round robin tournament was completed, but it appears his Escogido team has asked the Pirates permission to allow Marte to play in the league finals, assuming they advance.
In Puerto Rico on Saturday, Benji Gonzalez had a big game, going 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. His team still lost 10-5 and dropped to 3-4 in the playoffs.
Eliecer Navarro got the start and went 6.1 innings in his team’s 2-1 loss. He got credit for the loss, but both runs that Navarro gave up were unearned. He allowed two hits, two walks(one intentional) and had five strikeouts. Navarro threw five shutout innings in his last appearance.
Mel Rojas played for the first time in a week, though he was only used as a pinch-runner. He went 0-for-8 in the first two playoff games and 2-for-13 during the regular season in Puerto Rico.
On Wednesday, the Panama League season got started and three Pittsburgh Pirates players are in the league. On Friday, Ulises Montilla went 1-for-5 in his second game. He hit a double and homer in the season opener. Edgardo Munoz went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored on Friday. He was 1-for-8 in his first two games. Dario Agrazal Jr. still hasn’t made his season debut.
In Australia from Sunday, Danny Arribas went 0-for-4 with a walk to wrap up his week. He played first base today and caught in his only other start this week. In those two games, he went 0-for-7 and dropped his average down to .152 through 99 at-bats. The opposing starting pitcher today for Arribas was former Pirates pitcher Aaron Thompson.+ posts
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.