Outfielder Starling Marte is on the New York Mets' Wild Card Series roster, the team announced Friday. Marte has not played since Sept. 6, when he was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken finger. , Marte was still experiencing discomfort and unable to properly grip a bat or throw a ball. .
"I'm never going to say never," Mets manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday when asked about Marte's availability for the Wild Card Series (via MLB.com). "... You can't swing a bat, you can't throw a ball, it's going to be hard."
Not only is Marte on the Wild Card Series roster, he is in the Game 1 lineup. Marte is batting sixth and playing his usual right field. The team is unsure how much he'll contribute, and it's possible Marte will be removed from the game if things aren't working out.
Buck Showalter said the Mets basically aren’t sure yet what Starling Marte, who still experiences pain when batting/throwing, will give them.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) October 7, 2022
He is batting sixth in case the Mets need to take him out.
The 33-year-old Marte was an All-Star this season and he authored a .292/.347/.468 batting line with 16 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 118 games before suffering the injury. Tyler Naquin and Jeff McNeil handling right field duty during Marte's absence. When McNeil played right, Luis Guillorme slotted in at second base.
Here is New York's 26-man Wild Card Series roster:
- Catchers (3): Francisco Álvarez, James McCann, Tomas Nido
- Infielders (6): Pete Alonso, Eduardo Escobar, Luis Guillorme, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Daniel Vogelbach
- Outfielders (5): Mark Canha, Terrance Gore, Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo, Darin Ruf
- Starters (3): Chris Bassitt, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer
- Relievers (9): Edwin Díaz, Mychal Givens, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Tylor Megill, Adam Ottavino, David Peterson, Joely Rodríguez, Drew Smith
Notably absent are Naquin and infield prospect Mark Vientos, a righty bat. That suggests there is at least some hope the righty swinging Marte will be able to hit at some point this series, especially since the San Diego is carrying five lefties on their roster (Josh Hader, Tim Hill, Sean Manaea, Adrian Morejon, and Blake Snell).
Scherzer will start Game 1 on Friday and the Mets. If they win Game 1, they may start Bassitt in Game 2 in an effort to save deGrom for a potential Game 1 start in the NLDS.