The New York Mets are in an interesting scenario with outfielder Starling Marte. Being a team out of the playoffs by its admittance after selling off at the deadline, they have options of what to do for the last two months of the season. They can field younger talent and see what they have. However, that part became moot after they optioned third baseman Brett Baty. They also could play lesser-known players like DJ Stewart and Danny Mendick. In other words, hoping for a higher draft position. When it comes to an injured player like Marte, they could bring them back and let them finish the season or shut them down and let them rest up for next year. For Marte, it should be the latter.
Injuries Piled Up In 2022
New York signed the All-Star outfielder to a four-year contract during the 2022 offseason. A deal that was worth up to $78 million. Marte was a player the Mets had coveted in the past, and they finally landed him. From April to August 2022, Marte was a superb player and earned an All-Star nod—his second trip to the midsummer classic of his career. Marte slashed .293/.346/.475 throughout those months of the season. Hitting 16 home runs and 63 RBI on 132 hits—batting mainly from the two-hole after Brandon Nimmo. He was electric both on offense and on defense in right field. He was making a smooth transition to that position. Once September rolled around, however, Marte would not reduplicate those numbers. If anything, he wouldn’t get the chance at 100% to do so.
As the Mets entered September in a division race with the Atlanta Braves, Marte fractured his middle finger, which cost him the remainder of the regular season. He watched from the sidelines as the Braves overtook the Mets for the division title. He returned for the playoffs as the Mets were bounded out in the first round by the San Diego Padres. As it turned out, he was battling injuries all season, which included an oblique injury and tightness in his quad and groin. While dealing with those injuries, he still put-up productive numbers, but 2023 would be much different.
A Lost 2023 For Marte
It all started in the offseason when it was revealed that Marte had to get surgery to repair a core muscle on both sides of his groin. His legs were bothering him during 2022, and it showed this season as you could tell Marte was never fully back. He looked slower on the field, running out simple fly balls to the point people started to believe he wasn’t trying. When in reality, he was still recovering. It also really hampered him at the plate. His numbers are way down this year compared to last, batting .248 with just five home runs and 28 RBI on 78 hits, including an OBP of .301 and a slugging percentage of .324. Marte would start battling migraines by July, and the Mets placed him on the injured list on July 20th. Unfortunately, shortly after he returned from the migraines, the Mets placed him back on the IL due to a right groin strain on August 7th. As Marte works his way back, the Mets need to make a decision, and it’s time to let Marte rest up.
It’s Time To Shut Marte Down
New York threw in the towel and decided to enter a bit of a rebuild. No meaningful game is left to be played, so why risk Marte? Why risk further injury to a player dealing with it the last two seasons? This year he’s felt the worst of it coming off surgery. The Mets are better off letting him rest up for Spring Training next year. They have two more years of him under contract, and the team should want Marte paired up with Nimmo at total health in the outfield. In addition, you want to solidify him back into the top part of the lineup. His struggles this season caused the Mets to move him down in the order. With how critical Marte was in 2022, they’ll need that version of him next year. Marte is an outstanding player overall, especially when he’s healthy. If you’re the Mets, tell him to focus on next season.