BRADENTON, Fla. — Hot-hitting outfield prospect Starling Marte was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, March 18. In 13 major league spring games this season, Marte had a .520 batting average (13-for-25) and smashed three home runs.”I wasn’t discouraged,” the No. 40 overall prospect told MLB.com about the demotion. “I’m happy for the opportunity to show what I can do. I’ll keep working until I have a chance.”Also optioned to Indianapolis this past week were fellow outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, infielder Chase d’Arnaud, right-handed pitchers Kyle McPherson and Bryan Morris, and left-handers Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson.
Meanwhile, first baseman Matt Hague – who led the International League in hits for the Indians in 2011 – has been impressive in major league spring training, making a case to break camp with the Pirates. As of Sunday, Hague had a .409 average in 22 Grapefruit League at bats and has been taking defensive reps at third base and in the outfield in an effort to improve his stock as a bench option.
By Michael Raines