As I mentioned, last night I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on Versus (which, as of the first year, will be known as the NBC Sports Network). I didn’t barf, drop any F-bombs or ruin any equipment, so I assume that they’ll have me back on from time to time.
We covered all kinds of ground on the show last night, so I figured I’d share some of the segments today as little video posts a la HBT Daily. Only differences: (a) I wasn’t in my basement; and (b) no Tiffany. Don’t worry, though: I’m taping some stuff with her later this morning, so you’ll get your fix today and tomorrow.
First up: some chatter about the NL Cy Young race. We taped this before Halladay’s ridiculous start yesterday and before Kershaw’s aborted-yet-still-awesome game against the Dbacks. Still, given that Cliff Lee is likely to go out there and toss a near perfect game or something, I believe the point I make about this being the tightest awards race in recent memory stands. Today Halladay has an edge, but it’s goin’ down to the wire.
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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.