Pirates to reportedly promote one of their top prospects after Starling Marte lands on DL

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Thursday 25-17, good for a share of first place in the National League Central. Their efforts to retain a portion of the division lead got a little tougher, however.

That's because the Pirates placed center fielder Starling Marte on the disabled list due to a strained oblique. In a corresponding move, the Buccos will promote Austin Meadows, per Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic:

This likely will be a short-term call-up for Meadows. After examining Marte -- whose injury was not deemed to be severe -- the Pirates opted to play it safe with his sore oblique.

Marte had been having an impressive bounce back following a turbulent 2017. He'll hit the shelf having hit .308/.366/.503 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases over his first 41 games.

Meadows, meanwhile, will make his long-awaited big-league debut. The No. 9 pick in the 2013 draft, Meadows has seen injuries and unsteady performance in recent years remove some of his prospect shine. Nonetheless, he entered the season ranked as a top-50 prospect by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus, who noted he has the chance to remain in center field and combine above-average raw power with a potential plus hit tool -- or, in layman's terms, be a quality starting outfielder.

Meadows had hit a disappointing .281/.326/.380 in 31 Triple-A games. For his career, he's hit .249/.311/.388 in about 600 plate appearances at the level. He turned 23 in early May.

The Pirates began a four-game set against the San Diego Padres on Thursday. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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