As teams are eliminated from postseason contention, more and more are choosing to rest star players or give them a head start on recovering from minor injuries in the offseason. The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t mathematically eliminated yet, but they went that route Friday with shortstop Ketel Marte, who has been one of the 2019 season’s breakout stars.
Marte, a first-time All-Star who is batting .329 with a league-leading 187 hits, suffered a stress reaction in his back, the team announced.
Instead of pushing him through the final nine days of the regular season, Arizona will give Marte’s back rest. He’ll have the offseason to rehab and be ready for Spring Training.
Hell of a season from Ketel Marte.
6.9 WAR • 32 HR • 92 RBI • 10 SB
.329 AVG • .389 OBP • .981 OPS
• Leads National League In hits.
• Leads NL in total based.
Rest up for next season. #RattleOn
— Zona Sports (@AZSportsZone) September 20, 2019
Sense of disappointment
In many ways, the Diamondbacks would have liked Marte to finish his breakout season. He had 32 home runs and 92 RBIs. Reaching milestones of 35 homers, 100 RBIs and 200 hits were all attainable.
“You can’t measure my level of disappointment because he was such an important player to this team, this organization,” D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo said, according to the Associated Press. “That’s obvious. But what I’ll focus on is what he meant to this team, the development that he showed over the course of this year. That’s all I can look at right now. He was a special player, he was a special man, and it’s a special story. We’re going to remember the year he had because of what he went out there and accomplished.”
Ketel Marte updates us on the status of his back and if we’ll see him before the season ends. pic.twitter.com/dTjMEJ4bK9
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) September 18, 2019
The future is bright
Marte is in the first year of a multi-year contract extension with the Diamondbacks, and he did not disappoint. He was the secondary piece, after pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, when Arizona traded with the Seattle Mariners for Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger.
But with Segura onto Philadelphia, Haniger injured and Walker waylaid by injury and ineffectiveness, Marte has turned into the star of the bunch.
He’ll be ready for spring training in 2020 with an eye on more success.
Diamondbacks asking questions, seeking solutions as Ketel Marte’s season ends https://t.co/ovU82PXTNb
— azcentral (@azcentral) September 21, 2019