Mets’ Starling Marte isn’t passing defensive test by any metric

PITTSBURGH — Starling Marte’s play in right field this season for the Mets hasn’t passed the eye test, and the metrics support the conclusion he has slipped defensively.

It could be the fact Marte is 34 years old and coming off surgery on both groins last offseason, but the veteran outfielder isn’t about to offer excuses for his underwhelming defensive play.

“Little by little I am getting to the level that I want to be at, but I feel good,” Marte said through an interpreter on Saturday before the Mets’ 5-1 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.

A night earlier, Marte was slow in reacting to an Austin Hedges fly ball to right field that plunked in fair territory for a two-run double. The previous night in Atlanta, he nonchalantly fielded a hit to right field and the ball rolled past him to become a triple. Such plays have become more frequent this season for Marte.

According to Statcast, Marte ranks only in the seventh percentile among right fielders with a minus-four in outs above average this season. He ranks in the 24 percentile for jump on balls hit to the outfield.

Marte’s strength remains his arm, which few outfielders can match.

Starling Marte fails to make a catch Michael Harris' RBI double during a loss to the Braves earlier this week.
Starling Marte fails to make a catch Michael Harris’ RBI double during a loss to the Braves earlier this week.
Getty Images

“I am trying to run to the ball as hard as I can and you try to help the team out in any way possible,” Marte said. “But I am doing the best that I can there to try to get to those balls.

“The hard-hit balls, there have been more this year in the sense of fewer plays made. Of course I am playing the same position, but it’s just fewer balls that have been hit that I have been able to get to.”

Marte, who arrived before last season on a four-year contract worth $78 million, was among the Mets’ best performers last year. If he were excelling at the same level on offense as last season, when he produced an .815 OPS, his defensive shortcomings might be easier for the Mets to overlook.

But Marte after going 1-for-4 with a run Saturday, he has a .649 OPS as one of several players still looking to find a groove offensively.

Last season, Marte was only minus-two in outs above average as a right fielder, but his defensive miscues were less glaring.

“I understand what you are talking about,” manager Buck Showalter said to a reporter’s inquiry. “But then he shows you a real flash of the level that he’s spoiled us with. He’s kind of created a high standard for himself because of what he’s done in the past, so when there’s some fall off of that it’s something that is evident. It’s nothing that he’s doing intentionally. It just hasn’t been the strength for him that it has been in the past. I am hoping that turns.”

Marte’s underwhelming play was only one contributing factor on a team that ended a seven-game losing streak Saturday.

“It’s frustrating because we’re a competitive team and we expect to win games, but at the end of the day we can’t lose faith and we can’t go too crazy,” Marte said. “We have played good baseball where we have come back in games, but we just haven’t gotten the job done. It’s been frustrating, but we’re still a team and we’re still expecting a lot of good things.”

Source link

𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

Similar Posts