Breathe easy Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Starling Marte should be fine. He was hit in the hand by a 91 mph fastball in the seventh inning of last night's game. Marte was checked on by trainers and eventually walked off the field and was lifted from the game. It looked bad at the time, but X-rays came back negative.
According to Ian McCue of MLB.com, Marte has a badly bruised hand, but nothing more serious than that. The team made sure Marte got X-rays immediately, and fortunately, they came back clean. Marte will be listed as day-to-day. He will likely see how the hand responds in early workouts today before a decision is made on whether he can play or not today.
Marte is increasingly asserting himself as a prime piece of the puzzle that has resulted in the Pirates owning the second-best record in the Majors. Marte has been a fan-favorite since being called up, but not many knew how much better he could get after his rookie season. This year, Marte has far exceeded expectations. He has played in 111 games and is hitting .282/.343/.438. In addition, he has been playing great defense.
The Pirates are 70-46. They hold a four game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans in Pittsburgh are no longer worrying about finishing above .500. They are now worrying about winning the division. With the new Wild Card format, teams and fans understand the importance of the division crown. Marte will have a lot to say about how the Pirates finish the season.
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