While the Pittsburgh Pirates did rebound to take two of three from the Houston Astros and pull within 1.5 games of the final playoff spot, the bad news was that Pirates outfielders have been dropping like flies as of late, with both Travis Snider and Jose Tabata sustaining injuries this week.
However, as the Bucs take on the Chicago Cubs this weekend, they’ve received some good news on the injury front as rookie outfielder Starling Marte will be batting second Friday night. Marte will be activated from the 15-day disabled list, where he has sat since Aug. 19.
Marte went 1-for-3 with a single for Triple-A Indianapolis Thursday and getting the highly-touted rookie back for the rest of the season is a huge plus for the Bucs.
In 23 major league games before his injury, Marte hit .253 with a .708 OPS. He also clubbed four homers and drove in 10 runs in 93 MLB at bats.
Marte’s presence strengthens the Pirates lineup and if he can offer up some production the rest of the way, the youngster could play a big role as the Bucs chase their first postseason berth since 1992.
The Bucs were hoping to have both Marte and second baseman Neil Walker back for tonight’s game against the Cubs, but Walker remains out of the lineup as rookie Brock Holt gets another start at second base.