Starling Marte to begin rehab assignment tonight

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Pirates rookie Starling Marte will begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A and is scheduled to play at Triple-A tomorrow.

No timetable has been established beyond that, but barring a setback in his recovery from a strained oblique muscle the 23-year-old outfielder could be cleared to rejoin the Pirates’ lineup by the end of the week.

Marte made his MLB debut on July 26 and has hit .253 with four homers and a .421 slugging percentage in 23 games, but that comes with an ugly 24/3 K/BB ratio and .287 on-base percentage that have made him a poor fit as a leadoff man.

Jose Tabata has been the primary fill-in for Marte in left field, so it’ll be interesting to see if he goes right back to the bench or manager Clint Hurdle tries to keep them both in the mix for at-bats.