Big news broke Tuesday afternoon. Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder, Starling Marte was suspended 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
This is a huge blow to the Pirates and Fantasy Baseball owners. Marte now becomes the second player, in consecutive years I might add, who was drafted primarily in the second round of Fantasy drafts to be suspended. Last year we saw Dee Gordon do the same.
Starling Marte 80 Game Suspension
Marte apparently tested positive for Nandrolone. This was one of the drugs that were widely used during the heyday of PED use, back in the early 2000’s. Marte said that it was both neglect and lack of knowledge that led to the positive test. Below is a tweet from the Pirates of Marte’s
Below is a tweet from the Pirates of Marte’s apology.
Statement from Starling Marte (translated) pic.twitter.com/ai6yN0lCMU
— Pirates (@Pirates) April 18, 2017
What to do with Marte?
If you own Starling Marte, this no doubt a huge blow to your team. The question now is what do you do with him if you own him on your team?
In most formats, redraft leagues with 12 teams or less, you can safely drop him. It is too hard to hold onto a player taking up a bench spot for this long. Remember he will not be DL eligible, he will instead be listed as suspended. So if you think you can put him in a DL spot on your team, you are sadly mistaken.
Remember he will not be DL eligible, he will instead be listed as suspended. So if you think you can put him in a DL spot on your team, you are sadly mistaken.
Now in deeper leagues, I might keep him. That is until I desperately need the spot to pick up a player who can actually help my team. But in leagues with 14 or more teams or very deep rosters, there might not be much out there to get right now, so I would hold.
Before finding a replacement player for Marte, you will first have to come to the realization you will not find a player anywhere near his talent on the waiver wire.
Now that you have admitted that we can move on. Adam Frazier is the immediate beneficiary of the Marte suspension for the Pirates. That is great for Frazier, but he should not be anywhere near your Fantasy Baseball team. He simply offers very little to help your club, except batting average help and maybe a little bit of speed.
Just a few players that are widely available who could help immediately are Jayson Werth, Scott Schebler and Kevin Pillar, especially now that he his hitting leadoff. None of these guys are great, but they will at least give you something to fill the void of Marte.
The player that you will want to pay very close attention to as a Marte owner is top prospect, Austin Meadows. The Pirates have said they will not be calling the youngster up right now, but this is only going to speed up his inevitable call-up to the bigs.