BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates center fielder smiled and strode into the Florida sunlight.
On the first day of his first spring training as the Pirates’ starting center fielder, Starling Marte stowed his gear in the clubhouse, one locker down from Gregory Polanco, and stepped outside. There, behind the ballfields at Pirate City, Marte met with media and attempted to summarize his offseason and describe the dynamics at play after the Pirates’ recent outfielder shuffle.
For the third spring in a row, the Pirates outfield will be Marte, Polanco and Andrew McCutchen. The new alignment calls for McCutchen, a former Gold Glove center fielder whose defensive shine has faded in recent years, to start in right field, with Marte in center and Polanco in left.