New York Mets outfielders Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo have yet to play a game this spring. It’s not unexpected. One is recovering from surgery and the other is saving himself for when the games matter.
One week into Spring Training games, we have our update. According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Marte is set to debut in games on March 10 with Nimmo also prepared to play his first game sometime next week.
It looks like the Mets should have Starling Marte ready to join Brandon Nimmo on Opening Day
There was never any concern about Nimmo not being ready for Opening Day. Marte, on the other hand, gave us a little bit of doubt. A spring debut planned a week in advance in the middle of March is a positive piece of Mets news. He may not play every day. This at least means he’s feeling good and confident enough to get back on the field.
Having Marte ready for the start of the season is important for the Mets beyond just having his bat in the lineup. It could force the Mets into making the smart baseball decision to carry Brett Baty on the roster instead of Darin Ruf. While not directly related, a fully healthy Marte makes Ruf even less needed.
We saw down the stretch in 2022 how vital Marte was. He missed significant time late in the year which resulted in starts from Ruf and Tyler Naquin in right field. The Mets are better equipped to handle his absence this season with Tommy Pham on the roster and the possibility of using Baty in left field and moving Mark Canha into right field.
Nimmo, meanwhile, will be a bigger overall blow to lose at any point. Surpassing 100 games in a season for only the second time in his career last year sparked this slow re-introduction to the baseball field. Why risk getting hurt doing something you already know you can?