10:26 pm: Marte was removed due to left hamstring tightness, the D-Backs announced.
10:10 pm: Diamondbacks star center fielder Ketel Marte left this evening’s game against the Brewers in the first inning. He hit a double but appeared to favor his left leg as he ran the bases, notes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Josh Reddick replaced Marte, with Pavin Smith moving from right to center field to accommodate Reddick’s entrance in right.
It’s a worrisome development for the D-Backs, who already lost Marte for six weeks earlier in the year due to a hamstring strain. His previous injury was to his right leg, while tonight’s appears to be to his left. When he has been healthy enough to take the field, the 27-year-old has been dynamic. Marte is hitting a fantastic .366/.415/.552 across 147 plate appearances this year. It’s a return to his 2019 form, when Marte finished fourth in NL MVP award voting, and a definitive bounce back from his average 2020 campaign.
Between his elite performance and the Diamondbacks league-worst 21-53 record, Marte has drawn plenty of attention from fans of other teams eyeing potential midseason upgrades. There’s been little indication the Arizona front office has any interest in moving Marte this summer, though. He’s guaranteed a modest $8MM in 2022 and controllable via cheap club options through 2024, so there’s no urgency for the D-Backs to part with him.
Indeed, general manager Mike Hazen seemed to cast doubt on a trade involving a player of Marte’s caliber last week. He didn’t explicitly rule out the possibility, of course, but Hazen spoke of “anchoring” the organization around a group of quality, controllable position players. Marte is precisely that type of player, so there’s not much evidence he’d be a particularly likely trade candidate, even if this latest injury doesn’t turn out to be a serious issue.