It took a couple of weeks, but Mets outfielder and two-time All-Star Starling Marte made his spring debut on March 10 against the Astros. Marte didn’t look rusty, as recorded two extra base hits in an impressive, yet abbreviated Spring Training outing.
A Look at Marte
In his first game of the spring, Mets outfielder Starling Marte went 2-2 against the Astros. Marte’s first at-bat resulted in a double off a high fastball against Houston starter Shawn Dubin. Two innings later, the veteran outfielder belted a two-run shot that came off a hanging breaking ball over the heart of the plate.
It’s a positive sign to see that Marte, who hit .292/.347/.468 with 16 home runs last year, is not having any issues swinging the bat. While the 34-year-old did have a solid year, he did deal with a number of injuries over the past few months. Marte underwent surgery back in November to repair two groin muscles that were bothering him in the second half of last season. Not to mention, the Mets outfielder sustained a non-displaced fracture in his hand in September.
What it Means
A healthy Starling Marte is critical to the Mets’ chances of making it back to the postseason last year. While New York does boast a strong offense, and a strong outfield that includes Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha, it’s not easy to replace the impact of someone like Marte. The 34-year-old gets on base often thanks to above-average bat-to-ball skills. The 34-year-old owns a career batting average of .290 over 5,267 PA.
Health, however, is a concern for the Mets outfielder. Marte has had IL stints in four of the last five seasons, dating back to 2018.