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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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National League

Phillies Hire Bryan Price As Pitching Coach

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Bryan Price

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired Bryan Price as their new pitching coach, according to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb.

Price, 57, was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 2014 until 2017, and will now join the staff of new Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi, who was recently hired to take the helm.

Price has experience as a pitching coach, doing so for a handful of teams prior to his stint as the Reds’ manager.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks Hire Matt Herges As Pitching Coach

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Matt Herges

The Arizona Diamondbacks have hired Matt Herges as their new pitching coach, according to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro.

Herges will join the DBacks staff after spending the past two seasons as the bullpen coach of the San Francisco Giants.

Herges takes over for Mike Butcher in Arizona.

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National League

Padres Outright Brett Kennedy

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Brett Kennedy

The San Diego Padres have outrighted right hander Brett Kennedy, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page.

Kennedy, 25, has battled injuries since he impressed in his stint in the Padres’ minor league system.

Despite a shaky big league debut, Kennedy will look to get back on track with a new team.

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