SAN FRANCISCO -- Ketel Marte returned to the D-backs on Friday, joining the team five days after his mother was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.Marte was on the phone with his mother before the team was taking off from St. Louis for Chicago on Sunday. When
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ketel Marte returned to the D-backs on Friday, joining the team five days after his mother was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.
Marte was on the phone with his mother before the team was taking off from St. Louis for Chicago on Sunday. When he landed, he got a call that she had been in an accident and found out she had passed away later in the evening. He flew home and spent the week with family before meeting the team in San Francisco on Thursday night.
"Right now, I feel better," Marte said. "My family, they just told me, 'Go back to work. You know what to do. Now you've got to work really hard for us.' I will work harder for my family, for my mom. It's a crazy moment, but I believe in God and I know it's going to be good."
Manager Torey Lovullo said he wanted to give Marte a day to get back to playing baseball after four days without picking up a ball before inserting him back into the lineup. Lovullo added the team was really happy to see Marte back and have him with the team again.
"In my interaction with him today, I was able to let him know that he's here with his baseball family and we're here for him on any level," Lovullo said. "I know that he's dealing with a lot -- he's been walking through some really tough times, but hopefully getting back out and playing as soon as possible will take his mind off of things."
Marte has a slash line of .242/.314/.500 with four homers, four doubles, 10 RBIs, 14 strikeouts and seven walks in 70 plate appearances over 25 games in the Majors. He hit six homers with Triple-A Reno earlier this season to give him 10 on the year, something he mentioned in an Instagram post.
"She knows I work so hard and she knows I got pop," he said. "When I was playing softball with a friend, she saw me hit a long homer. One day, before I came to Spring Training, she said, 'I want 10 home runs this year.'
"When I hit my last homer, I called her and she was watching. I said, 'Now you've got 10 homers. How about that?' And she was crying. It's a crazy moment for me right now."
• In addition to Marte's activation, left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda, the club's No. 4-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was recalled from Triple-A Reno, where both right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and infielder Jack Reinheimer were optioned in corresponding moves.
Banda, 23, made his second MLB start Friday after debuting against the Nationals on July 22. Lovullo was impressed with that start, as well as the work Banda did in the Minors after.
"I think, where you're adding up all the ingredients of somebody that can step into this environment when they're youthful, you're looking for somebody like Anthony Banda," Lovullo said. "What he did against the Washington Nationals was exceptional. We know he went down and worked on a couple of things to make himself a little bit more prepared for this moment."
Reinheimer, who made his MLB debut Tuesday, went 0-for-5 during his stint. De La Rosa was activated from the disabled list (shoulder inflammation) July 26 and gave up one run in 2 2/3 innings since being activated.
• Left-hander Robbie Ray (concussion) was cleared for baseball activities Thursday and threw from 120 feet out Friday. Lovullo said the team was "really excited" with the progress he's made since being hit in the head by a line drive July 29.
• Lovullo also announced that outfielder Yasmany Tomas (right groin tendinitis) is expected to start a rehab assignment sometime next week.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.