Pirates outfielder Starling Marte will return from his 80-game PED suspension today. Yesterday he faced the press. He apologized for letting his team and the fans down, bus still says that he isn’t sure what substance got him suspended.
He tested poisitive for Nandrolone, but claims he did not inject himself with the steroid. He says that it was a matter of “not being careful enough,” in monitoring what he took while at home in the Dominican Republic in the offseason. He said, however, that he “respects” and “understands” whatever guff he takes from his teammates, the fans or the press.
The Pirates went 39-41 during Marte’s absence and are 45-48 overall. They’ve surged of late and, thanks to a lackluster NL Central this season, are nominally in contention, six games back of the Brewers. Marte was hitting .241 with two homers and seven RBIs in 13 games when he was suspended. He hit .304 with a home run and three RBIs in 12 minor league rehab starts. Marte had taken over in center field, moving Andrew McCutchen to left, but McCutchen has returned to center in Marte’s absence. He will remain there and Marte will play in left.