It’s late Friday afternoon, so of course it’s time to announce some drug suspensions.
Luis Atilano was one of two today. The former Washington Nationals pitcher got his 50-game ban for a second violation of the drug of abuse policy. Atilano, 27, is currently in the Reds system with Double-A Pensacola. He started 16 games for the Nationals in 2010, going 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA.
Red Sox prospect Marco Duarte received his 50-game suspension after testing positve for amphetamines. The 25-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Astros in a Rule 5 draft trade over the winter. Before that, he was pitching in Mexico. He had a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings of relief between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland this season.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.