Will the return of Ketel Marte provide the spark the Mariners need?
Although you may not of heard of Ketel Marte due to the influx of amazing rookies in 2015 and the fact that he was a prospect in the Seattle Mariners’ underwhelming farm system, he’s made an impact on the team both on the field and in the clubhouse.
So it’s no wonder that despite their 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday, the Mariners were very happy to have Marte back in the lineup. He’d been out with a thumb injury he incurred while attempting to steal second base and had been on the disabled list since May 21.
It seems likely, at least thus far, that Ketel Marte could be the rare prospect from the Mariners’ farm system that could end up working out. Marte hit .283 with eight stolen bases and 17 RBI in 57 games in 2015 and the Mariners hoped he could keep it up in his sophomore season. So far he has.
Other than Marte, the only other Seattle prospect that has not been a flop has been third baseman Kyle Seager, and he is now in the second year of a $100 million, 7-year contract. Marte could be that next player that the Mariners’ sign long term (that actually came up in their system).
Popular both with the fans and with his teammates, the Mariners are hoping he’ll provide the spark they need after a 1-4 road trip in which they were swept by their division rival Texas Rangers. Stefan Romero, who was optioned back to Triple-A, had hit just .200 in Marte’s absence and made two critical fielding errors in the team’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Texas on Sunday.
Despite losing 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians in Marte’s return on Monday, Marte went 1-3, stole a base and scored the team’s only run on a single by Norichika Aoki. If the rest of the team can live up to Marte’s standards, and there is no reason with names like Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz in their lineup that they shouldn’t be able to, Marte may really be the spark everyone seems to think he is.
To find out more about Marte and the key part he plays for the Seattle Mariners, you can read the rest of my column on Today’s Knuckleball by following the link below:
Brought to you by