BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates this morning optioned outfielder Starling Marte, who had been the star of camp, as well as outfielder fielder Gorkys Hernandez and pitchers Kyle McPherson, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson to Class AAA Indianapolis.
Marte, 23, batted .529 with two home runs and played mostly well on defense. But he never has played above Class AA, and management had stated all along he would return to the minors. The team wants to see more patience at the plate — he led the Eastern League with a .332 batting average but his on-base percentage was .370 — in large part to develop his power.
The camp roster is at 43.