Pirates notebook: Marte still absent from lineup
MILWAUKEE — Starling Marte's return to the starting lineup remains on hold.
A night after Marte ended speculation about a trip to the disabled list by coming off the bench to smash a pivotal two-run double in the ninth inning at Miller Park, Marte on Thursday was held out of the Pirates' starting lineup for a fourth consecutive game.
Jose Tabata started again in left field, and Travis Snider batted first and played right field.
For a second straight day, Marte entered the game as pinch-hitter, subbing for Snider in the seventh. Marte remained in the game and played in left field.
“The determining factor was the conversation I had with the player,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle of keeping Marte out of the starting lineup. “We feel this is the best way to go about his return to play.”
Marte told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday that his condition is improving and that he strained his back on a head-first slide Saturday.
No rehab necessary?
Pirates closer Jason Grilli said he might throw another simulated game before being activated from the disabled list.
Will Grilli go on a rehab assignment?
“Not likely,” said Grilli after Thursday's loss to the Brewers.
Grilli feels he's ready to come off the disabled list.
Hurdle did not have an update on catcher Russell Martin, who has run and hit this week as he progresses from a hamstring injury. It's unknown if Martin will require a rehab stint.
To make room for Thursday's starting pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez, in activating the veteran left-hander from the disabled list, the Pirates optioned outfielder Jaff Decker to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Decker was brought up Sunday as an outfield reinforcement after Marte left Saturday's game with back discomfort and Andrew McCutchen was held out of the lineup with a sore foot.
Hurdle earns honor
The MLB Players Alumni Association announced that Hurdle will be presented with the 2014 Brooks Robinson Community Service Award at the Legends for Youth Dinner on Nov. 18 in New York. The award is presented each year to a former major league player who “exemplifies the unselfish and humble attitude of Brooks Robinson, bettering the lives of youth in his community.”
Hurdle is the national spokesperson for the Prader-Willi Association, an organization that raises awareness for the genetic disorder that bears the same name and afflicts Hurdle's daughter, Madison.
Pirates will miss import
The Pirates will miss Yankees big-money, free-agent starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in the weekend series, which is good news for the Pirates. The Yankees were 7-1 in games started by Tanaka entering Thursday, and 13-18 in games started by any other pitcher. Tanaka is 6-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Hurdle noted that reliever Tony Watson is not simply a lefty specialist. He's simply a platoon-neutral, effective arm.
Watson entered Thursday with a 20-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against right-handed batters this season, holding righties to a .208 batting average. Watson actually has reverse platoon splits this season, as lefties are hitting .375 against him. For his career, Watson has held right-handed hitters to a .196 average and lefties to a .221 average.
Fellow lefty reliever Justin Wilson also has been better against righties (.213 average) than lefties for his career (.235) and in 2014, when he is limiting righties to a .250 average while lefties have a .333 mark.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after experiencing elbow discomfort
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- Pirates notebook: Hart ‘down a few days’ after cutting foot
- Rossi: Fitting in will be Kang’s biggest hurdle
- Pirates notebook: Sadler gets first Grapefruit start
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Pirates starting pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders
- Rossi: Pirates better with Maz on scene
- The Starting Nine: Silver linings for Alvarez