Starling Marte Q&A

OF Starling Marte struggled early in 2014 but then took off in the second half. He wound up batting .291 in 135 games with 13 home runs and 56 RBI. Marte appears poised for a breakout season.'s George Von Benko caught up with Marte recently.

GVB – How did the off season go for you?

SM – It was very good, very good. I hung out with my family.

GVB – Did you play any winter ball?

SM – No I took this year for my family and I just worked out a lot and had fun in the Dominican Republic.

– You started off slow last season, but finished strong. You made so adjustments to counter how the pitchers were pitching to you.

SM – They did a good job with me and we had some good communication with me and Jeff Branson and the staff made me much more comfortable at home plate. They made adjustments with me and it worked out well.

GVB – When things weren't going well you went over some video with Andrew McCutchen, is that correct?

SM – Yeah, that's right. When McCutchen got hurt I had to move into center field and I did good, but sometimes I was hurt too. This year I would like to play 162 games and try to be healthy.

GVB – You are always working to improve your game, are there some areas that you want to fine tune?

SM – I'm looking to hit the ball and make better contact. Stick with the same plan from this past year and try to recognize every pitch and try to put good wood on the ball.

GVB – How do you feel about what you are doing defensively?

SM – I feel very good about my defense. I feel more relaxed and I put more concentration on left field and I just try to catch every ball they hit that way.

GVB – On the base paths you put up good numbers stealing bases, are you getting better at that facet of the game?

SM – Yeah I steal and take my bases and when I get the chance I take it. I've been working on that too. I've tried to get more speed and I've really worked on my legs in preparation for spring training.

GVB – As you enter spring training do you have a good feeling about this team coming into the season?

SM – I've got a great feeling because Burnett is back and Liriano and I think Cervelli is going to be fine behind the plate. I think we are going to have a very good team.

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