Starling Marte to begin rehab assignment tonight

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Pirates rookie Starling Marte will begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A and is scheduled to play at Triple-A tomorrow.

No timetable has been established beyond that, but barring a setback in his recovery from a strained oblique muscle the 23-year-old outfielder could be cleared to rejoin the Pirates’ lineup by the end of the week.

Marte made his MLB debut on July 26 and has hit .253 with four homers and a .421 slugging percentage in 23 games, but that comes with an ugly 24/3 K/BB ratio and .287 on-base percentage that have made him a poor fit as a leadoff man.

Jose Tabata has been the primary fill-in for Marte in left field, so it’ll be interesting to see if he goes right back to the bench or manager Clint Hurdle tries to keep them both in the mix for at-bats.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.