Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals due to “severe dizziness.” Sean Rodriguez took Marte’s place in left field to begin the top of the fourth inning.
Marte had gone 0-for-2 with two swinging strikeouts against Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. He’s currently batting .269/.322/.500 with seven home runs, 21 RBI, and five stolen bases in 114 plate appearances this season.
The Pirates should provide more information on Marte’s status after the game.
Non-tendered last month after the Pirates acquired Sean Rodriguez to potentially replace his right-handed bat, Gaby Sanchez has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.
His move to Japan is surprising because it seemed pretty likely that Sanchez would be able to snag another part-time role in the big leagues at age 31, but the Associated Press says he’ll get $2.5 million and that’s almost surely more than any MLB team would have paid.
Sanchez is a career .254 hitter with a .744 OPS in seven seasons, including a paltry .691 OPS versus righties compared to a strong .863 OPS off lefties. He made the All-Star team in 2011.
Sean Rodriguez, whom the Rays designated for assignment last week, has been traded to the Pirates for a player to be named later and cash. And to make room on the roster Pittsburgh designated for assignment Gaby Sanchez.
Pittsburgh is committed to the left-handed-hitting Pedro Alvarez at first base in 2015 and the right-handed-hitting Sanchez could have stuck around to platoon with him, but the Pirates felt his projected $2.7 million arbitration salary was too much for that role (and/or they prefer Rodriguez).
Rodriguez brings a lot of defensive versatility to the table as a utility man and can hit left-handed pitching pretty well, but he’s been terrible versus right-handed pitching and is a career .225 hitter with a .670 OPS overall. He’s projected to make around $2 million via arbitration for 2015, after which Rodriguez will be a free agent.
Sanchez struggled this year, hitting .229 with seven homers and a .679 OPS in 123 games. He’s a career .254 hitter with a .744 OPS, including .291 with an .863 OPS versus lefties, so at the very least the 31-year-old Sanchez will find a part-time role elsewhere.