The Mets have placed Starling Marte on the 10-day injured list, with the placement backdated to September 6. Marte’s IL stint opens a roster spot for prospect Mark Vientos, whose promotion was reported earlier today.
Marte hasn’t played since Tuesday, when he suffered a partial, non-displaced fracture in his right middle finger after being hit by a pitch by Pirates righty Mitch Keller. New York delayed in placing Marte on the IL in the hopes that he could recover enough to return to the lineup without an extended absence, but Marte still seemed very limited in terms of baseball activities. Newsday’s Tim Healey wrote prior to Friday’s game, Marte only “participated lightly in pregame drills” without any throwing or swinging.
The veteran outfielder will now get a full week off to recuperate, though given the nature of the injury, it isn’t a given that Marte will spend only the minimum amount of time on the injured list. The Mets surely don’t want to rush Marte back and risk further injury, which would then possibly put Marte’s availability for the playoffs in question. While the Mets are in a tight race with the Braves for the NL East title, the Mets are basically a lock to reach the postseason as at least a wild card team, and Marte will be a big part of any push throughout October.
Through 505 plate appearances, Marte is hitting .292/.347/.468 with 16 homers. This translates to a 134 wRC+, tying the career-best mark Marte posted just last season. Marte was named to his second All-Star roster earlier this summer. It has been an immediate impact for Marte in Queens, and the Mets’ four-year, $78MM free agent deal with the outfielder back in November currently looks like one of the winter’s wisest investments.
Tyler Naquin has taken over in right field in Marte’s absence, and it seems likely that the left-handed hitting Naquin and the right-handed hitting Darin Ruf will work in a platoon until Marte is able to return. The two trade deadline acquisitions have pronounced splits over their careers, and for 2022, Naquin is hitting .264/.329/.495 in 228 PA against righties, while Ruf has slashed .224/.329/.455 in 167 PA against southpaws.