A dream season for the Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte has come to a premature end. The club has shut down the second baseman/outfielder on account of a stress reaction in his back, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. The injury doesn’t figure to affect Marte going forward, as general manager Mike Hazen said he won’t need surgery and should be ready for a full spring training.
At 78-75, the Diamondbacks have put up a valiant fight this year, but it’s clear a playoff berth won’t be in the cards. As such, it likely wasn’t an overly difficult decision for the team to shut down Marte, who has emerged as a franchise-caliber player this season.
Marte, who joined the D-backs in a whopper of a trade with the Mariners in 2016, turned into one of baseball’s elite all-around players in 2019. Not only did the switch-hitting 25-year-old slash an exemplary .329/.389/.592 with 32 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 628 plate appearances, but he was an asset on the defensive end. Marte combined for 5 Defensive Runs Saved and a 4.5 Ultimate Zone Rating among second, shortstop and center field (primarily the latter). His overall output was worth a jaw-dropping 7.1 fWAR/6.9 bWAR.
Back in 2018, Marte signed a team-friendly extension that could possibly run through 2024. The deal has gone about as well as possible for the club thus far, and it appears Marte’s on his way to being one of the faces of the Arizona organization for the foreseeable future.