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Starling Marte to play winter ball

Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

As noted at Pirates Prospects (sub. req’d), Starling Marte will play this winter in the Dominican Winter League. He hasn’t played in several years due to the Pirates’ concerns about his propensity for minor injuries. This year obviously is different in the wake of his 80-game suspension for PED use. Marte is coming off his worst major league season, batting just 275/333/379. How much of that was rust — he had just a .600 OPS in his first 25 games back — is hard to say, but he did finish the season with an .805 OPS over the final six weeks.