Marte makes his mark in Marlins' series win
Miami outfielder logs 4 hits, finishes triple shy of cycle, to go with stellar catch
MIAMI -- Following Thursday night’s 11-4 Marlins victory over the Rockies at loanDepot park, Jazz Chisholm Jr. brought up teammate Starling Marte not being happy about their postgame workout being delayed by a Zoom conference.
The veteran Marte has embraced a mentorship role with the rookie Chisholm, even sporting a shirt with the Bahamian’s face on it during Wednesday’s batting practice. Hitting back to back atop the order Thursday, the pair clubbed back-to-back home runs after Adam Duvall's two-run shot during a six-run second.
“He's taking me under his wing,” Chisholm said. “Everything he does, he just tells me, ‘Hey come on, let's go. We're going to go work out. Hey come on, we're going to do this,’ so he's really taking me under his wing. He's told me that I can be a special player, and he sees it, and he wants me to be a special player, so he's going to show me how. So far he hasn't disappointed.”
Marte led the charge by going 4-for-5 as part of a 16-hit outburst in support of rookie left-hander Trevor Rogers. It marked Miami’s first series win since May 22-23, and came on the 30th anniversary of South Florida being awarded a MLB franchise.
Every position-player starter recorded a hit, and five tallied multiple knocks. It was the club’s second-largest margin of victory this season; it tends to play close games more often than not (41 of 62 decided by three runs or fewer).
“Big boost of confidence,” said Rogers, who had eight strikeouts and allowed two runs over seven strong innings. “It just makes me want to go attack the strike zone even more, without really having to nibble on the edges as much. Not to make as perfect as pitches. So I just go out there and really keep the competitiveness up, and attack the strike zone.”
Marte, who was a triple shy of the club’s first cycle in its 4,426th game, doubled in the fourth and reached with an infield single in the sixth. He added a single to center in the seventh. Marte also robbed Yonathan Daza of extra bases to open the fifth, perfectly timing a jump at the top of the wall. Rogers clapped his glove in appreciation, while Daza tipped his helmet.
Prior to Marte’s performance, there had been 186 instances of a Marlins player missing out on a triple for the cycle. Four times, they didn’t get a single, 18 times a double and 40 times the homer. It was the 15th four-hit game of Marte’s career and second this season.
With the Marlins battling injuries and dropping in the National League East standings, a veteran with an expiring contract such as Marte would be coveted on the trade market. It’s similar to the situation in 2020, when contending Miami dealt for the 32-year-old outfielder at the Deadline, and then picked up his $12.5 million club option over the offseason. Should he, Corey Dickerson and/or Duvall be sent off, Triple-A outfield prospects Jesús Sánchez (ranked No. 6 by MLB Pipeline) and Monte Harrison (No. 14) are waiting in the wings, with Double-A players JJ Bleday (No. 2) and Peyton Burdick (No. 12) not far behind.
Speaking to media members on Tuesday, general manager Kim Ng said she has not had “any conversations with his representatives about him being here longer term.” Marte told SportsGrid’s Craig Mish on Wednesday of his interest in staying with the Marlins and ending his career with Miami.
Miami’s offense, which entered Thursday scoring just 3.84 runs per game (28th in MLB), could certainly use him. It struggled to fill the former All-Star’s No. 2 spot in the order for 34 games. Since returning from the injured list (left rib fracture) on May 28, Marte has gone 18-for-43 (.419) with five doubles and three homers in 12 games.
“I just think the consistency of Marte,” manager Don Mattingly said. “This is like a dude not just on our club, but throughout the game. This is one of the best players out there, so he gives you that guy, with those little things that he does. He's power, he's average and speed, it's defense. This is the player.”