Pirates’ Starling Marte Suspended 80 Games for PED Use

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte has tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone, a performance enhancing drug. Marte received an 80 game suspension, plus he would be ineligible for the post season if the Pirates make the playoffs. This is bad news for the Pirates chances of making it to those playoffs, as the 28 year old Marte is one of the stars of the team.

In 2015, he hit .287 with 19 homers, 81 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases. Las t season he hit .311 with nine homers, 46 RBIs and 47 stolen bases in 129 games. Marte displaced incumbent center fielder Andrew McCutcheon in center this season, much to McCutcheon’s displeasure. Andrew moved to right field, but will return to center in Marte’s absence. The Pirates’ defense may suffer, as Marte is considered a better defensive player than McCutcheon.

The Pirates missed the playoffs last season, but figured to have a shot this season, probably as a wild card. With a big piece of the offense missing, we’ll have to see if the club goes into a rebuilding and trading mode later this season if they fall out of it early on. This shows that PED use remains a potential problem in baseball despite serious punishment (the suspension is without pay) for infractions.

McCutcheon commented on the suspension of his teammate:

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