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Marte scheduled to start Minors assignment

Suspended Pirates outfielder eligible to be activated July 18
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, nearing the end of his 80-game suspension, will begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment Sunday with Class A Advanced Bradenton.

Sunday will be Marte's first official game since April 17. The following day in St. Louis, Marte received his suspension for a positive test of the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. He has been working out and participating in simulated games at the club's Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla.

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PITTSBURGH -- Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, nearing the end of his 80-game suspension, will begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment Sunday with Class A Advanced Bradenton.

Sunday will be Marte's first official game since April 17. The following day in St. Louis, Marte received his suspension for a positive test of the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. He has been working out and participating in simulated games at the club's Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla.

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Marte is eligible to rejoin the Pirates on July 18, when they are scheduled to play the Brewers at PNC Park.

Marte's 15-day assignment will begin with a 1 p.m. ET Florida State League game at LECOM Park. Presumably, the Pirates will advance Marte through the Minor League system -- with Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis -- to face higher-level competition as his return date approaches.

Marte was hitting .241/.288/.370 with two home runs, seven RBIs and two steals in 13 games before the ban. A two-time Gold Glove Award winner in left field, Marte was moved to center field this spring as part of the Pirates' outfield shakeup.

After Marte's suspension, Andrew McCutchen returned to center field. Less than a month later, the Bucs moved Gregory Polanco from left to right field, undoing the realignment entirely. Pittsburgh has been covering left field with a host of utility players: Adam Frazier, John Jaso, Jose Osuna and occasionally Josh Harrison.

The Pirates have not officially stated their plan for the outfield upon Marte's return.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Starling Marte