Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 5/19/13
Andrew McCutchen has missed only 10 games since the start of 2011. (Photo Credit: David Hague) What a two months it has been for Starling Marte. The Pirates left fielder has evolved from a potential-packed-but-raw leadoff hitter to a possible All-Star. Marte was set to have a day off before the team’s scheduled off-day Monday, but Andrew McCutchen is a late scratch due to right knee soreness, so Marte will instead play center field. Let’s look at what Marte has done this season: He is making contact on more pitches, allowing him to reduce his strikeout rate. Even though his walk rate is still low, he has been hitting the ball harder to increase his average. Expect a little offensive regression, given Marte’s high .392 BABIP, but he can still beat out plenty of infield hits with his top-level speed. And no, he’s not Mike Trout. He doesn’t yet have the gap power or plate discipline. Each player through 42 games of their second MLB season: Trout in 2012 — .341/.401/.541, 6 homers, 16 stolen bases, 2.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio Marte in 2013 — .312/.380/.474, 5 homers, 10 stolen bases, 4.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio With Marte in center, it’s a swap in to left field for Travis Snider. He has played left field before with the Toronto Blue Jays, and although PNC Park’s expansive territory in left presents a new challenge, Snider says he will just play a little further back toward the wall. Cutch Was Coming Alive Andrew McCutchen takes a seat on the bench for just the second time this season, and first since April 28. No word yet on if he is available as a pinch-hitter. His production has been down in the early goings, marked by an eight-game slide in late April with no extra-base hits. But the last three nights have seen McCutchen go 7-for-14 with four extra-base hits. Hurdle wouldn’t predict if the strong few days indicate fans will see a blast of power, but he noted that it’s not like his center fielder is doing anything differently. “He’s very process-motivated. He’s going to stay with his routine,” Hurdle said. “He’ll tell you there have been more pitches away.” Bonus Round! Rehab outings for pitchers with shoulder injuries: Jeff Karstens will pitch May 23 somewhere, and James McDonald will pitch May 27 in Altoona. Infielder Chase d’Arnaud is scheduled to play seven innings Sunday and seven innings Monday for the Double-A Altoona Curve on his rehab assignment. The Pirates rotation is “set in pencil” for the Cubs series: Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday, Francisco Liriano on Wednesday, Jeanmar Gomez on Thursday. “We still could adjust,” Hurdle said, but the rotation should be finalized soon. Every reliever except Brian Morris (33 pitches Saturday night) is available Sunday. Lineups Houston Astros (12-31, 16 games back in AL West) CF Brandon Barnes (.322) 2B Jose Altuve (.342) LF J.D. Martinez (.247) 1B Chris Carter (.226, 9 homers) C Carlos Corporan (.313) RF Jimmy Paredes (.194) 3B Matt Dominguez (.236) SS Marwin Gonzalez (.248) RHP Lucas Harrell (5.11 ERA, 29 K, 29 BB in 49.1 IP) Pittsburgh Pirates (25-18, 2.5 games back in NL Central) CF Starling Marte (.312) LF Travis Snider (.272) RF Garrett Jones (.288) 1B Gaby Sanchez (.250) 2B Neil Walker (.243) 3B Pedro Alvarez (.197, 7 homers) C Michael McKenry (.224) SS Clint Barmes (.229) LHP Jeff Locke (3.15 ERA, 28 K, 20 BB in 45.2 IP)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point Contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

WATCH: Klay Thompson beats teammate Steph Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA Skills Challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker