Pirates outfielder Starling Marte throws with his right hand, but if you tuned in for the top of the fourth inning this afternoon as the Pirates battled the Nationals, you never would have known it. Leading off the inning, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman laced a line drive down the left field line. It took an unexpected carom off the wall in the corner and Marte had to chase the ball as it rolled towards left-center.
In the chaos, it was easy to miss, but MASN broadcaster F.P. Santangelo questioned if Marte’s glove was on the wrong hand. Replays showed that Marte was carrying his glove in his right hand — his throwing hand.
(Hat tip to @CrashburnAlley on the .gif. That guy is cool.)
It should be noted that Marte is otherwise having a great season. He hit his fourth homer on the year this afternoon off of Stephen Strasburg and entered the afternoon with a .328/.391/.491 line.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.