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Pirates’ Starling Marte Looking For Big 2018

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Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is looking to bounce back and be a major contributor to the team in the 2018 season.

Marte missed half of the 2017 campaign due to 3rd failed drug test, which was even more disappointing considering he was aiming to build off a strong 2016 that saw him make his first All-Star team.

Marte sat out from April 18 to July 17 while serving a suspension for a positive test for the steroid stanozolol.

He posted .275 with 7 homers, 31 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 77 games which was a considerable dip from his 2016 numbers where he hit .311 with 9 homers and 46 RBIs en route to earning his 2nd Gold Glove and grabbing a career-high 47 steals.

“I’m coming into this season with a brand-new mentality,” Marte said, via ESPN. “It’s a mentality to help my team like never before, to be the best teammate I can be and to be healthy to continue to be the best Marte that I am.”

“I believe he wants to go out and play the game the way he’s capable of, and that’s going to be pretty special in center field,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s going to be special on the bases. He can do things at the plate that are significant to help our club.”

Marte will be expected to fill the void left by Andrew McCutchen who is now with the San Francisco Giants.

“He has always been so respectful of Andrew that he hasn’t really let it out how much he wants to play center and how excited he is for this opportunity,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.

“But center field is his, and we’re excited for him to go own that.”

Marte is looking to have a big bounce back year.

“These pitchers, they were already all warmed up,” Marte said. “They were ready to face me. They had been playing through the whole season. I came in kind of cold, and it took me a little bit to be able to adjust.

“However, when I started getting warmed up and I came into my rhythm, that’s when Marte came out — the true Marte — and I feel warm and I’m looking forward going into this 2018 season.”

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Chicago Cubs

Cubs’ Addison Russell Receives 40-Game Suspension

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Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been suspended without pay for 40 games, retroactive to September 21st, the date he was placed on administrative leave, under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.

The league formally announced the suspension on Wednesday, and Russell will not appeal the suspension.

Russell was placed on administrative leave back in September amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse brought forward by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy.

“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Addison Russell violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy,” Manfred said in a statement. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Russell violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover 40 games.”

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National League

Mets’ Activate David Wright for Final Homestand

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New York Mets third baseman David Wright m who has not played in the majors since 2016 due to spinal stenosis along with neck and shoulder injuries, will be activated for the team’s final homestand of the season, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

“Physically, the way I feel right now, and from what the docs told me, there’s not going to be any improvement, So I don’t see [playing full time again] as a possibility” Wright said during the new conference, according to the New York Post.

It’s unclear if retirement will be the next step for Wright, but his time with the Mets as an everyday again is over.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers Recall Julio Urias

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have recalled left-hander Julio Urias from Triple-A Oklahoma City, marking his first stint in the majors since he underwent shoulder surgery last June.

Urias was one of the major’s 10 best prospects prior to his debut back in 2016, and when he arrived in May of 2016 he posted an impressive 3.39 ERA over 77 innings with 84 strikeouts against only 31 walks, making many believe he would be a building block for the Dodgers’.

His shoulder surgery put everything on hold and will now look to recapture the magic that he flashed in 2016.

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