New York Mets veteran outfielder Starling Marte had to leave the team’s spring training game early against the Tampa Bay Rays after getting beaned in the head in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Minor league pitcher Elvin Rodriguez lost control of a 93 mph fastball and it ran up to Marte’s head. He couldn’t get out of the way in time, and manager Buck Showalter jumped out of the dugout immediately.
Marte was able to walk off on his own power, but the Mets took him out of the game out of caution.
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Concussion tests immediately following the incident were negative on Marte, and Showalter knows it could’ve been a lot worse.
“He may have gotten lucky – you hope so,” Showalter said via the New York Post. “He will be getting a few calls during the course of the next 24 hours to make sure everything is fine.”
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It was Marte’s second game of the spring as the Mets have been slow playing him after undergoing double groin surgery in November. But hit-by-pitches are something the Mets unfortunately had to deal with more than any other team in MLB last season, and Marte was on the receiving end of a few.
He had to miss most of September leading into the postseason because he broke his finger on a hit-by-pitch.
Marte is a key piece of 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 homers and 63 RBI in his second career All-Star campaign.
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Marte will like to play a full season, though, as his injuries forced him to play just 118 games out of 162.
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The Mets will hope that Marte is healthy for their March 30 Opening Day matchup against the Miami Marlins on the road.