Monday, May 29, 2023

Starling Marte returns to Marlins from injured list ahead of tough road series



The Miami Marlins have won six of their last nine and are actually 23-20 since that terrible 1-6 start. They now face a tough couple road series with three against the Red Sox and two against the Blue Jays before heading to Pittsburgh for four. They got some good news before Friday’s bout in Fenway Park, too. Center Fielder Starling Marte has been activated from the injured list. 

Marte, 32, is hitting .316/.420/.491 (155 OPS+) with two doubles, a triple, two homers, eight RBI, 15 runs and three stolen bases in 15 games this season. He injured his ribcage (a non-displaced fracture, actually) on a swing, so he’s been out since April 18. He’s capable of playing above average with all five tools, so he’s an immediate jolt to the roster. 

With Marte out, the Marlins had mostly used Magneuris Sierra (54 OPS+) and Lewis Brinson (65 OPS+) in center field, so the offensive upgrade will be pretty significant. As previously noted, the timing is good. 

The Marlins are coming off a split with the Phillies that was preceded by series wins over the Mets and Phillies. They are only three games out in the NL East. They have a plus-15 run differential, which is the best in that division several other factors indicate there’s a chance they have staying power in the race. SportsLine, at present, has them finishing with 82 wins and a 15.5 percent chance to win the division. The postseason chances sit at 19.8 percent. 

Perhaps the most fun aspect if they are contending in July will be to see how new general manager Kim Ng operates in front of her first trade deadline in charge. The Marlins acquired Marte last season on deadline day as surprising contenders. 


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