Starling Marte injury update: Wild Card Series a best-case scenario for return

Starling Marte Mets
Starling Marte (AP)

It doesn’t appear that the Mets received all that promising of an update on Starling Marte, who continues to work his way back from a fractured right middle finger.

According to manager Buck Showalter, there has been “a little progress, but not enough to think that something is imminent.”

Per reports, the veteran right-fielder was scheduled to attempt gripping the bat with two hands and even begin throwing on Monday to provide some clarity on whether or not he’ll be able to return for the team’s final regular-season series against the Washington Nationals. 

“That was the hope,” Showalter admitted. “I don’t think that got a real good return.”

Instead, it’s being forecasted that the earliest he can return will be Friday for the opening game of the National League Wild Card Series. 

“I know we’re looking for ways to manage it and the discomfort,” Showalter added. “We’ll see what the next three days bring.”

Marte has been out of the Mets’ lineup since Sept. 6 when he was hit in the hand by a pitch from Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller. It’s no coincidence that the team’s offense has lagged in his absence during a 13-11 stretch that ultimately saw them lose out on winning the National League East.

The 33-year-old was enjoying an All-Star season in his debut campaign with the Mets after signing in free agency. In 118 games he batted .292 with an .814 OPS, 16 home runs, 63 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. 

“He’s such a well-rounded player. That’s why he was such a good addition for us,” Showalter said. “The people who have taken his place are similar in doing some of those things, but he has a track record. He stretches the lineup and creates some problems for bullpens.

“I think the well-rounded game. He doesn’t have to hit the ball out of the park… he’s really a good fit for who we’ve tried to be.”

For more on Starling Marte and the Mets, visit AMNY.com