Starling Marte expected to return to game activity Thursday
March 15, 2017 12:31 PM
Starling Marte flashes a smile during practice March 8 before the Dominican Republic faced the Pirates at LECOM Park.
By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BRADENTON, Fla. — The medical staff for the Dominican Republic team expects center fielder Starling Marte, who missed the past two World Baseball Classic games with an ankle injury, will return to game activity Thursday, according to Pirates head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk.
Marte tweaked the ankle last week. He returned to go 3 for 4 with a solo home run against the United States on Saturday, then sat out the final two games of pool play.
Pirates right-hander Brandon Cumpton, on the road back from Tommy John and shoulder surgeries, threw off the slope Wednesday for the second time. Tomczyk said Cumpton is not yet close to appearing in games — as right-handers Casey Sadler and Angel Sanchez did recently — but he is making progress.
Infielder Jason Rogers (right ankle discomfort) is cleared for all baseball activities except sprinting.
Right-hander Jason Stoffel (right shoulder discomfort) will begin flat-ground throwing later this week.
Red Sox starters
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced right-hander Rick Porcello, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, will start opening day April 3 against the Pirates at Fenway Park. He’ll be opposed by Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole.
The next game, April 5, will feature Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon and Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster trade this offseason.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: email@example.com and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.
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