Major League Baseball announced earlier today that Pittsburgh Pirates star OF Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games, effective immediately, for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was first to report the suspension.
This is a tough blow for the Pirates, who have started the season with a record of 6-7. The Pirates, who have made it to the postseason several times in the past five seasons, were hoping their star studded outfield of Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, and Starling Marte, would help them once again make it to the postseason and compete with the Chicago Cubs.
The Pirates have already called up OF Jose Osuna to take over for Marte, who will begin serving his suspension this evening. Another possible replacement for Marte, is top prospect OF Austin Meadows.
Marte, 28, was an all star last season. He batted a slash line of .311/.362/.456 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs in only 489 at bats. Marte also tallied 47 stolen bases in 2016. This year, Marte was off to a slow start offensively. He owns a slash line of .241/.288/.370 with only two home runs and 13 RBIs,
Since making his big league debut in 2012, Marte has had a successful career with the Pirates. Overall in his six year playing career, he owns a slash line of .288/.344/.446 with 60 HRs and 242 RBIs.
Marte, signed a six-year, $31 million deal three seasons ago.