By: Joe Kapp

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Pirates fans may be wondering how Starling Marte will be welcomed back by his teammates from his suspension when the season resumes after the MLB’s All-Star break.

Post-Gazette Pirates’ beat reporter Stephen J. Nesbitt told The Fan’s Cook & Poni that it’s going to be awkward.

“It’s awkward anytime someone comes back from a steroid suspension, and the Pirates haven’t dealt with this before,” said Nesbitt.

The other players in the clubhouse have had to deal with the questions and to try and make up for the lack of his missed production, but the reality of his return is setting in and this will be treated as a guy returning from the disabled list.

“You’re welcoming back a guy who loves the game but also a guy who cheated the game,” Nesbitt added. “They will accept him back because they know him. It’s not like he is a rookie. It will all be okay in the long run.”

There are some who have suggested that the Pirates move on from Marte in a trade, but that according to Nesbitt, that is highly unlikely to happen.

“It really doesn’t make sense,” Nesbitt said. “This is the absolute wrong time to trade him.”

Nesbitt adds that the Pirates look to maximize value in any deal and that would not happen in any trade involving Marte right now.

He did say that there are other potential pieces that could bring the Pirates prospects in return like Tony Watson or even John Jaso, but the big make on the market remains to be Andrew McCutchen.

He also admits that it’s a bit strange that the Pirates have allowed the speculation of whether both Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle will return next year get to this point, but thinks there is a real shot both return unless either wants to test the waters elsewhere.

Marte is eligible to return is July 18, when the Pirates face the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.

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