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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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Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers Discussing Trade for Will Smith

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Will Smith

The Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants have been in talks regarding a trade that would send left hander Will Smith back the Brewers, according to The Athletic’s Robert Murray.

Per the report, the Giants are interested in second base prospect Mauricio Dubon.

Smith has had a solid season in 2019, pitching to an impressive 2.17 ERA.

No deal is close as of this writing.

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National League

Mets To Place Zack Wheeler On Injured List

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The New York Mets will place right hander Zack Wheeler on the injured list due to shoulder fatigue, according to Newsday’s Tim Healey.

In a corresponding move, the Mets will have left-hander Steven Matz start in place of Wheeler for tomorrow’s game.

Wheeler has been heavily linked in trade rumors, so it is unclear just how much this injury will impact his value on the trade market.

It is unclear just how long Wheeler will be out.

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National League

Mets Shopping Noah Syndergaard

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The New York Mets will likely be big sellers at the deadline and it appears that they are shopping starter Noah Syndergaard.

According to Newsday’s Tim Healey, the Mets have discussed Syndergaard with around six teams, adding that there’s “minimal urgency” on the Mets’ part to trade Syndergaard.

Per the report, the Mets would need to be “wowed” in order to move Syndergaard.

Syndergaard, 26, isn’t having the kind of season he is accustomed to, pitching to the tune of a 4.68 ERA, and is posting other career-low numbers.

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