Major League Baseball announced today the suspension of the Pirates’ outfielder Starling Marte for 80 games, in a press release made by the MLB commissioner.
The Dominican outfielder tested positive for Nandrolone, an anabolic which helps speed up muscular growth, stimulates the appetite and the formation of red globes in the blood. The suspension will force Marte to be out of Clint Hurdle’s lineup until July 17th, at least, right after the All Star game takes place.
Marte had a slash line consisting of .241/.288/.370 at the time he was suspended, adding just three extra-base hits, including one double and a pair of home runs, along with seven runs batted and seven runs scored, across 13 games. Marte will not be eligible to play in the postseason, if the Pirates make it, as the new rule of the MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement states alongside the MLB Players Association, which forbids players that test positive for drug use to play any sort of part on the postseason.
“I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job," said Marte in a statement. “In this very difficult moment I apologize to my family, the Pittsburgh Pirates, my teammates, my fans, and baseball in general. Neglect and lack of knowledge have led me to this mistake with the high price to pay of being away from the field that I enjoy and love so much. With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much. I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me."
Marte tested positive during the Spring Training, as reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Nevertheless, he presented an appeal, which he lost, before being informed this Monday about his suspension, which starts this Tuesday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates made the move to promote José Osuna from the Triple-A in order to replace the suspended outfielder. The Venezuelan was the last cut made by Hurdle during the spring after showing much promise during Spring Training. The first baseman was one of the best spring hitters, as he hit .407 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in, as well as a 1.252 OPS, in 22 games.