Text by Chris Adamski, photo by Christopher Horner
NOT FAR FROM INDEPENDENCE HALL – After two games playing for Class High-A Bradenton in which he played 10 innings and went 1-for-6, the suspended Starling Marte was bumped to Triple-A Indianapolis in time for Tuesday’s game at home against Columbus.
Bradenton was a good starting point for Marte because he had been working out with the Marauders after he spent much of his suspension working out at Pirate City in Bradenton. But Hurdle indicated the plan all along was to get him to the highest of minor-league levels as quickly as possible.
Indianapolis plays Wednesday and Thursday at Columbus followed by a weekend series in Gwinnett.
Players are allowed to play in minor-league rehab games for the final 15 days of the term of their 80-game suspensions for violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement.
Marte likely will be transferred to another affiliate early next week when Indianapolis is off because of the Triple-A All-star break. He is eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18.
>>> Line of the day
Hurdle, in referencing that he was 6 years old the most recent time the Pirates spent an Independence Day in the City of Independence (in 1963), to a reporter who wasn’t yet born in 1963:
“You were a bottle of wine in a supermarket somewhere, waiting to happen.”
Hurdle said his father used that phrase on him once.
“I said, ‘Really, Dad? OK, I get it.”
>>> Independence Day
The Phillies have played 97 games in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July, going 50-47. The Phillies are 104-102 overall on the date (they played doubleheaders for several decades – but not since 1982). They have won 19 of their past 26, but lost in Pittsburgh three years ago.
There was more than one gaudy stars-and-stripes, Chuck Norris-style t-shirt on the back of a player in the Pirates clubhouse this afternoon. Also, speaking of another Independence Day tradition: a handful of players were enthralled/amazed/disgusted by the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest that was on the big clubhouse TV.
(For the record, Joey Chestnut won his 10th title by downing 72 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes).
Among the greats. pic.twitter.com/WH3oMY6ktB
— ESPN (@espn) July 4, 2017
>>> You want links? I’ve got links
“We have to play better. We need to play better.”
“Winning it five times, any time I think you’re the only player to do something for an organization that’s been around 131 (seasons), it’s pretty significant.”
“I’ve been feeling good since four days ago, so it’s been a good progression.”
>>> Tuesday: Pirates at Phillies, 4:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: ESPN/Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-2, 2.97)
Phillies: RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 4.20)
Gamecast: Taillon is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 1/3 innings over four starts since his return from an absence resulting from surgery to address testicular cancer. … The Pirates have yet to win a four-game series this season – but they’ve only lost one of the prior five. They’re 0-4-1 in four-game series. … Monday began a stretch of 16 of 23 on the road for the Pirates. … The son of a former major-league pitcher by the same name and nephew of former three-time World Series winning pitcher Al Leiter, Leiter Jr. is making his third start since being moved into the rotation. The 22nd-round pick in the 2013 draft made 12 prior relief appearances after making his MLB debut in April. … Leiter Jr. pitched six shutout innings in his first start June 23 and was charged with four runs on nine hits in his next outing five days later.
>>> Wednesday: Pirates at Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (6-7, 4.51)
Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (1-3, 3.72)
>>> Thursday: Pirates at Phillies, 6:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (2-6, 5.26)
Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.48)
>>> Friday: Pirates at Cubs, 2:20 p.m., Wrigley Field, Chicago. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.67)
>>> Saturday: Pirates at Cubs, 7:15 p.m., Wrigley Field, Chicago. TV: Fox. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (8-6, 3.24)
>>> Sunday: Pirates at Cubs, 1:10 p.m., Wrigley Field, Chicago. TV: Root/TBS. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-2, 2.97 Plus Tuesday)
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.