New York Mets veteran outfielder Starling Marte had to leave the team’s spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays early after taking a blow to the head in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Minor league pitcher Elvin Rodriguez lost control of a 93 mph fastball and ran to Marte’s head. He couldn’t get out of the way in time, and manager Buck Showalter jumped off the bench immediately.
Marte was able to walk under his own power, but the Mets took him out of the game as a precaution.
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Concussion tests immediately after the incident came back negative on Mars, and Showalter knows it could have been a lot worse.
«I may have been lucky, you hope so,» Showalter said via the New York Post. «He’s going to get a few calls over the course of the next 24 hours to make sure everything is okay.»
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It was Marte’s second game of the spring, as the Mets have been slow to play it after undergoing double groin surgery in November. But hits by pitch are something the Mets unfortunately had to deal with more than any other team in the MLB last season, and Marte was on the receiving end of some.
He had to miss most of September leading up to the postseason because he broke his finger on a pitch hit.
Marte is a key player in the Mets’ outfield as he was when he signed with the club last offseason. The 34-year-old thrived in Flushing, Queens, slashing .292/.347/.468 with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs in the second All-Star campaign of his career.
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However, Marte would like to play a full season as his injuries have forced him to play just 118 games out of 162.
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The Mets hope Marte is healthy for their March 30 Opening Day matchup against the Miami Marlins on the road.