Marte nearing return, and could play center

Marte nearing return, and could play center

PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte (jammed right middle finger) improved enough to be available off Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's bench on Friday and is close to resuming regular play -- and when he returns to the starting lineup, it could be in center field.

Andrew McCutchen will sit either before or after Monday's off-day in order to get two days of rest. Marte will then move in the middle, with Josh Harrison manning left field.

McCutchen and Gregory Polanco, who hasn't missed an inning since his June 10 promotion, are both in line for a break.

But the first to be given a day off was Harrison, who was a healthy lineup omission Friday night for the first time since becoming a revolving regular on May 18 (he missed two games earlier this month with a twisted ankle).

"We're going to be on a little bit of a rotation," Hurdle said, "giving another outfielder or two a day or two off. So it's a rest day for [Harrison] now."

Travis Snider started in left field, with right-hander Jacob deGrom going for the Mets. Snider was 7-for-12 in his previous four starts.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.