Marte pads All-Star case with record-tying return

June 25th, 2019

These are all of the finalists for the Starters Election, which begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. MST and runs through Thursday at 1 p.m. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN that night starting at 4 MST. Players who do not get elected starters are not automatically added to the team as reserves -- they will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. All-Star pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday, June 30, at 2:30 p.m., also on ESPN.

PHOENIX -- All-Star hopeful was back in the D-backs' lineup on Monday after missing two games due to a left groin cramp that he suffered during Friday night’s game, and all he did was tie Luis Gonzalez's club record with a seventh consecutive multihit game, going 2-for-4 in an 8-5 win over the Dodgers.

Marte was initially in the starting lineup in center field for the series opener against the Dodgers, but after talking with the medical staff, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo decided to switch him to second base.

“We just felt like putting him back on the infield, the dirt, smaller space would be a good starting point for him,” Lovullo said. “Having Ketel Marte back in the lineup is a huge boost for us, a huge push for us. We need that positive push every time we can get one. He’s done a good job of resting up and taking care of his body to make this happen.”

That gives Marte a couple of more days to perform prior to the All-Star Game Starters Election, which he qualified for by finishing in the top three in the fan voting at second base.

Marte entered Monday’s game ranked fifth in the Majors among all players with a 3.6 fWAR.

“It’s been really cool from my perspective because I played with Ketel a couple of years ago in [Triple-A] Reno,” first baseman Christian Walker said. “So it’s been amazing watching him grow and develop into this player. It’s definitely no surprise. I felt like it was almost just a matter of time type thing. It’s amazing. I think he’s responding to it really well and it’s motivating him to wanting to keep doing better and keep working hard. The total package is there right now and it’s exciting to see.”

Weaver progressing

underwent a follow-up MRI exam, which showed improvement with his mild right flexor pronator strain and a mild right UCL sprain.

“He’s going to continue to be reevaluated over the next couple of days,” Lovullo said. “It’s a good sign that we saw some improvements in there and the right amount of healing. This is such a delicate process right now while he’s continuing the heal that the timeline hasn’t been established. So I think over the next couple of weeks we’re going to continue to evaluate him.”

Other injury news

• Infielder Jake Lamb is nearing a return. Lovullo said the organization would meet to discuss when to activate Lamb following his game Monday with Reno.

• Catcher Alex Avila, who is on the injured list with a strained left calf, is close to starting a rehab assignment.

“He’s feeling very, very good,” Lovullo said. “Functional testing on Thursday with the chance to start his rehab later this week.”