Cubs overtake Yankees for highest-priced tickets… kind of

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In its annual study released Wednesday, the Team Marketing Report concluded that the Cubs have overtaken both the Yankees and Red Sox for baseball’s highest-priced ticket.
The average ticket for non-premium sections at Wrigley Field now costs $52.56, a 10.1 percent increase over last year. Boston’s Fenway Park is just behind at $52.32, a 4.1 percent increase from 2009. Yankee Stadium has dropped from first to third at $51.83 after a mere 0.4 percent increase from last year.
Of course, there’s some fine print there: the Yankees petitioned to have additional lower-deck seats reclassified as premium, even though they don’t include free food like the previously classified premium seats. The Cubs have a far smaller percentage classified as premium seating than either the Yankees or the Red Sox.
Some other facts from the report:
*The average ticket this year costs $26.74, a 1.5 percent increase from 2009. That 1.5 percent increase is the smallest since tracking began in 1991.
*The Diamondbacks have the cheapest average ticket at $14.31. Next are the Padres ($15.15).
*The Twins, being the only team to move into a new stadium this year, had the largest increase from 2009, a whopping 45 percent ($21.70 to $31.47).

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.