As much as Starling Marte had hoped he might return from the injured list to face the Braves this weekend, that possibility might not be realistic.
The Mets outfielder is wearing a splint on his right middle finger and his return is “not imminent,” according to manager Buck Showalter.
“I know it’s really frustrating for him,” Showalter said Wednesday before the Mets’ thrilling 5-4, 10-inning walkoff win over the Marlins at Citi Field.
Marte is three weeks removed from getting drilled by a pitch and fracturing the finger. He had a CT scan on Sunday that showed healing in the fracture, according to the Mets, but it was unclear when he might resume baseball activities.
“He just needs to get to the point where he can grip a ball and grip a bat,” Showalter said. “But he is not there yet.”
The Mets have used a combination of Jeff McNeil and Tyler Naquin in right field during Marte’s absence. Luis Guillorme has received playing time when McNeil shifts to right field.
Pete Alonso moved to No. 2 in the lineup, with Francisco Lindor behind him, as the Mets faced lefty Jesus Luzardo. Showalter said Alonso’s penchant for drawing intentional walks was a factor in the decision.
“We’re trying to keep that as much as possible from happening and create a couple of more at-bats, possibly,” Showalter said. “I know he likes it and I know Lindor likes it.”
The Mets planned to travel with extra taxi-squad players to prepare for the possibility there will be injuries or a doubleheader this weekend and flights to Atlanta might be impacted by the weather.
The Mets’ 50 victories at Citi Field this season entering Wednesday were the highest total in franchise history (the ballpark opened in 2009). The last time the Mets won 50 home games was in 2006 at Shea Stadium. The franchise record for home victories is 56, set by the 1988 club. The Mets will play their final three home games next week, against Washington.
Edwin Diaz began play with 113 strikeouts, which led all major league relievers. The right-hander was 20 strikeouts ahead of his nearest competition. Diaz needed only 51 ²/₃ innings to reach 100 strikeouts, making him the fastest pitcher in Mets history to reach that plateau. Only Aroldis Chapman (51 innings in 2014) was faster in getting to 100 strikeouts in MLB history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.