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OF prospect Marte might need surgery

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CHICAGO — Starling Marte, one of the Pirates’ top outfielder prospects, will see a specialist Monday to determine if he needs surgery on his left hand.

“It’s a hamate (bone) injury,” Farm director Kyle Start said via e-mail. “Though it’s probably not season-ending if he has surgery.”

Marte is hitting .283 with 12 RBI for Class A Bradenton. He was forced to leave the Marauders’ April 14 game against Jupiter after being hit by a pitch on the left hand.

Increasingly bothered by pain in his hand, Marte has not played since May 10.

Marte, 21, was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, and spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Last year, he hit a combined .318 with 35 RBI and 24 stolen bases for low A West Virginia and Class A Lynchburg.

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