The Miami Marlins won their first playoff game since 2003 on Wednesday, topping the Chicago Cubs by a 5-1 score in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. While the Marlins have every reason to feel good about the victory, they may have suffered a notable loss in the process.
Outfielder Starling Marte, whom Miami acquired in a surprise trade deadline deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, left the game in the ninth inning after an errant pitch hit his left hand. Marte's injury was originally listed as a contusion, but x-rays have since confirmed that he suffered a fracture, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. The Marlins' lineup for Game 2 on Thursday does not include Marte, with Magneuris Sierra getting the start in center field.
Marte has gotten a brace for his fracture, per Craig Mish, and multiple reports indicate he's going to try and play through the injury at some point. He's said to be available off the bench for Game 2.
Marte, who turns 32 in early October, has hit .281/.340/.430 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases on the season. His marks with Miami were worse (.245/.286/.415), though they came in a smaller sample. It's worth noting that Wednesday's hit-by-pitch was Marte's second concerning moment of the week. He was hit in the helmet by a pitch on Sunday, during the Marlins' season finale against the New York Yankees. Marte was deemed to be all right after that incident.
If Marte is unable to continue, the Marlins will likely continue to turn to either Monte Harrison or Magneuris Sierra. Of the two, Sierra has performed better offensively this season: posting a 91 OPS+ compared to Harrison's 35 mark in roughly an equal amount of at-bats (47 vs. 44).
Marte is under contract for an additional season with a $12.5 million club option. The Marlins could, alternatively, buy out that option for $1 million.