Oct. 1: Marte saw a specialist today, who confirmed a fracture of the outfielder’s fifth metacarpal in his left hand, tweets Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. He’s been fitted for a protective brace and is undergoing treatment to reduce the swelling.
The fact that today’s scheduled tilt between the Marlins and Cubs has been postponed due to the weather in Chicago could play to the Marlins’ advantage, as that will give the Fish another day to help regain some mobility in Marte’s hand and reduce the swelling. It’s still not clear to what extent he’ll be available or whether he’ll eventually need to be replaced — squeezing a glove, catching a fly-ball and gripping a bat with a broken bone in one’s hand isn’t exactly easy — but the team has yet to make a roster move. At the very least, Marte could be a potential pinch-runner.
Sept. 30: The Marlins earned their first playoff win since 2003 on Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 1 of the teams’ wild-card series, but Miami did not come out of it unscathed. Marlins center fielder Starling Marte exited in the ninth inning after taking a pitch off the left hand from Dan Winkler. It turns out that Marte suffered a fractured pinkie, per Craig Mish of Sports Grid. This could end Marte’s season, but the Marlins are hopeful he will return at some point, according to Mish.
Marte, whom the Marlins surprisingly acquired from the Diamondbacks before the Aug. 31 trade deadline, got off to a solid start in Arizona this year before his production fell in Miami. He posted an .827 OPS as a Diamondback and a .701 mark as a Marlin, leading to a .281/.340/.430 line with six home runs and 10 stolen bases in 250 plate appearances.
No matter how their season ends, the Marlins will have to decide how to proceed with Marte once the winter comes. The soon-to-be 32-year-old Marte has a $12.5MM club option or a $1MM buyout for 2021, the former Pirate’s last season of team control. It seems like a reasonable enough figure for the Marlins to put on their books in a year, but it’s worth noting the D-backs were reportedly leaning against exercising it before they traded Marte. If it’s severe enough (and there’s no indication it is), this injury could affect Miami’s plans.