Marte has stiff neck after car accident
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Pirates reliever Damaso Marte had only a stiff neck after being involved in a three-car accident yesterday in his native Dominican Republic, and his prognosis was encouraging enough that he likely will be cleared to pitch in the Caribbean World Series this weekend.
"We're going to be very careful, with how accidents often show their effects on the second day," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said last night. "But right now, based on everything we know, he's fine. And this series means a lot to Damaso and his country."
Brad Henderson, the Pirates' athletic trainer, will call Marte this morning to check his status. If Marte is cleared, he could pitch as soon as Saturday, when his team in the Dominican Winter League, Licey, opens the four-team Caribbean World Series in Santiago against the Venezuelan champion.
The accident, which happened outside the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, involved three cars going the same direction in a single lane, with Marte's in the front. The car in the back rear-ended the one in the middle, which was driven by his brother-in-law. Next, the brother-in-law's car rear-ended Marte's.
No one was significantly hurt.
Rene Gayo, the Pirates' Latin American scouting director, spoke briefly with Marte last night.
"Damaso sounded surprised that anybody was making a fuss over it," Huntington said of the conversation relayed to him by Gayo.
Marte, 32, is coming off an exemplary 2007 in which he posted a 2.38 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. He was particularly tough on left-handed batters, holding them to an .094 average and two hits in the final 44 at-bats.
He and John Grabow are expected to share setup duties for closer Matt Capps in the coming season.
First Published January 30, 2008 12:23 am