This is not the question we want to entertain just 18 days prior to the 2022 season, yet here we are. Newly acquired center fielder, Starling Marte is dealing with an oblique injury and Mets manager Buck Showalter has told reporters that Marte has yet to swing a bat since being in camp.
While Buck says that he expects Marte to start the year in the Opening Day lineup, oblique injuries have proven to be tricky and can linger for a period of time.
Defensively, they won’t lose too much if anything at all, as the Mets are prepared to slide Brandon Nimmo over to center from the corner. The Wyoming native was already slotted in at the top of the lineup with an incredible .393 career on base percentage.
However focusing on the offensive side, the Mets lose the spark plug speed that Marte possesses. The kind of talent and speed that allows you to reach base at a .383 percentage and swipes 47 bags.
Let’s make no mistake, the organization has been missing this caliber of a spark plug since Jose Reyes was in his prime and departed for the Miami Marlins. So signing Marte was as significant as it gets, especially for a club that’s heavily pushing for World Series victory within the next few years.
If the injury turns out to be bigger than initially thought, this could force the hand on a Conforto-Mets reunion.
While Conforto rejected a $100M+ deal last year, he could possibly be tempted to accept a shorter term offer in order to build his value on the open market.
This would be very unlikely, in my opinion. It would make a lot more sense for the Mets to find a plug and play type player, or two… or three.