The Mets have informed reporters, including Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, that they have placed outfielder Starling Marte on the 10-day injured list due to migraines. The corresponding move might not be known right away since the Mets are playing right now and won’t be able to make use of a new player until tomorrow’s night game. The move is retroactive to July 17.
Marte, 34, hasn’t played in a game since Sunday. He was originally in Tuesday’s lineup but was a late scratch due to this migraine situation, per Andy Martino of SNY. He’s still not in the lineup today and it seems the club has decided to give him some time to try to get past the issue. Since the move is backdated by three days, he could potentially be back in a week if he’s able to feel better.
The veteran is struggling through arguably the worst season of his career. Signed to a four-year, $78MM deal going into 2022, he continued at his established level last year. He hit 16 home runs and batted .292/.347/.468 overall for a wRC+ of 136. This year, unfortunately, he’s down to a line of .254/.308/.332 and a wRC+ of 83.
While that diminished production might make it seem like not such a big loss for the Mets, there are reasons to expect that he might have rounded into his previous form eventually. His 39.9% hard hit rate this year is actually much higher than last year’s 33.9% clip. His 88.4 mph average exit velocity is his highest since 2019. His .309 batting average in balls in play is well south of his .342 career mark and just 7% of his fly balls are leaving the yard. That’s well below his career 13.5% rate and the 12.4% league average. Even without a bounceback at the plate, Marte remains a threat on the basepaths, having already swiped 24 bags this year.
At this point, there’s nothing to suggest Marte is slated for an extended absence, but the timing is notable. The Mets have been floundering for much of the year and are currently 45-50, seven games back of a Wild Card spot. There’s now less than two weeks until the August 1 trade deadline as the Mets try to figure out which kind of moves they want to make. Owner Steve Cohen recently talked about how it would be “silly” to make additions if they stayed well out of contention.
For at least the next week or so, the club will proceed without Marte. Brandon Nimmo is a fixture in center and figures to be flanked by some combination of Mark Canha, Tommy Pham and DJ Stewart, though the upcoming corresponding move could also put someone else in the mix. Jeff McNeil is the regular second baseman but also plays some outfield on occasion. Both Pham and Canha are impending free agents and speculative trade candidates, with Canah reportedly drawing interest from other clubs.