The Mets‘ outfield has been a carousel of players this season due to injuries and trades, but it appears one key piece is getting closer to returning to the lineup.
Before Monday’s 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, outfielder Starling Marte discussed his right groin injury with the media, which has landed him on the 10-day-injured list.
“I feel a lot better now,” Marte said through an interpreter. “After I got the injection, the inflammation has gone down, so I feel a lot better now.”
The 34-year-old began light activity last week at Citi Field following the injection to the groin, but he certainly will not be ready to go by Wednesday, which is eligible to come off the injured list.
Even when Marte is ready to return to playing baseball, the Dominican Republic native will still likely require some more time before returning to the Mets lineup, as the 34-year-old discussed how a few Minor League rehab games would be “ favorable for me to do that to kind of catch my rhythm again.” However, nothing in terms of a return-to-play plan has been finalized yet.
“We’re working out there right now, and we hope that it’s soon,” Marte said. “I still have some work to do here, and then we can sit down and create a plan on what we’re going to do.”
Of course, there is still an element out of Marte’s control: if management wants Marte to play again in 2023.
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The Mets sold at the deadline and have essentially waved the white flag for this season. With Marte’s injury history this season and the team not likely making the playoffs, they could just shut him down to focus on 2024.
Mets manager Buck Showalter discussed Marte’s situation before Monday’s win.
“We wouldn’t play him unless he was [ready],” Showalter said. “Hopefully, that happens for him mentally a little bit. We’re not at that point yet. It’s not easy for him… [Doctors] feel confident that we’ll be able to get him back [this year]. This has been a guy we haven’t really had at his level.”
Hopefully, for the flushing faithful Marte can return soon and perform like the player they fell in love with in 2022.