Starling Marte Suspended 80 Games

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 07: Pittsburgh Pirates Center field Starling Marte (6) jogs off the field during the Major League Baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 07, 2017, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. Marte has risen to All-Star caliber in the past couple years with his outstanding play. He has even booted fellow outfielder Andrew McCutchen from his center field position.

The news came out that Marte had tested positive for the substance Nandrolene. Nandrolene is a form of synthetic anabolic steroid. It is only in active form when injected into the body, usually straight into muscle.

Starling Marte Suspended 80 Games

Marte will be out until after the All-Star break, jeopardizing his team’s chances of making the postseason. The Pirates play in a tough division with the defending champs Chicago Cubs and the always-tough St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Pirates were aiming to grab a Wild Card spot this fall. With their top player missing roughly half the season, these chances are going to dwindle. A large weight is going to be added to the shoulders of players like McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, and Gregory Polanco, who is having a decent start to the year.

The Pirates are going to miss Marte in his absence. Though he is slashing just .241/.344/.446, with two home runs and seven RBI in 54 at-bats, he has become a very well-rounded player. His power is developing along with his solid speed and good defensive ability. His only flaw, to most, was his low walk-rate.

Marte is a career .288 hitter. He made his first All-Star team in 2016 and has won a Gold Glove in the previous two seasons. Last year, Marte finished in the top ten in National League positional WAR, with 4.9. He was also sixth in the NL with a .311 batting average in 2016.

The Pittsburgh front office has stated “We will continue to fight for the division title with the men who are here and will look forward to getting Starling back after the All-Star break.”

Jon Heyman was the first to report the suspension.

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