Mets Notebook: Starling Marte out sick against Dodgers, trade deadline around corner

16 July 2023

The Mets need everyone healthy and at their best right now as they try and make one final plea to the baseball gods for some winning luck before the trade deadline, but as manager Buck Showalter likes to say, everyone is battling something.

Starling Marte was a late lineup scratch Saturday with some sort of illness. The Mets weren’t sure if it was a stomach bug or a migraine, but the right fielder came to the ballpark Saturday and began vomiting. The Mets took him out of the lineup and reconfigured the lineup, moving D.J. Stewart from left field to right, Jeff McNeil from second base to left field and using Luis Guillorme at second base. The Mets were not counting on being able to use him off the bench.

“Let’s see if, as the day progresses, he’ll be available or not,” said manager Buck Showalter.

Tommy Pham also received a day off due to the groin tightness he felt last weekend in San Diego. Pham was able to DH in Friday’s loss but the Mets took him out of the lineup Saturday for the second game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They plan to use him off the bench but he likely won’t play Sunday either, which could be detrimental since Pham has been one of the Mets’ best hitters over the last six weeks.

Pham left a game against the Padres last Sunday after he felt some tightness in his left groin. All imaging came back negative and the Mets still consider him day-to-day. He has a history with the injury and the club is trying to avoid any aggravation.

“The whole idea was to DH yesterday and he may play tomorrow,” Showalter said. “With the off day looming on Monday, I’d like to see if we can get him to 100% by Tuesday. He’s close. There were a couple ground balls last night where he was being protective of it. He’s not in any discomfort, it’s just about letting it heal all the way.”

The good news is that these issues seem to be minor. For the injured Mets, returns don’t seem imminent.

Closer Edwin Diaz has been throwing from 120 feet and sometimes more but it’s not yet known when he’ll get on a mound. There have been no setbacks in his recovery from torn patellar surgery and the right-hander has maintained optimism for a return to action this season, but the Mets still aren’t putting a timeline on a return, at least not right now.

“I can tell you one thing, he’s doing a lot of things he wasn’t doing,” Showalter said. “I saw him down the hall, he was squatting down with Marte when he was sick down the hall. I don’t remember him squatting.”

Right-hander Sam Coonrod doesn’t appear to be close to a rehab start yet in his rehab from a torn lat. The Mets could have used the reliever this season, especially given that they were already down Diaz. He has high-leverage experience and he pitched in some big spots for the Philadelphia Phillies late last season. Currently, Coonrod is able to throw bullpens but there is still no immediate timeline for a return.


The Mets aren’t focused on the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but they are aware of what the next two weeks could mean for the season. However, the only thing they can control is what they do on the field. What the front office does is not the problem of the guys on the field, at least not until they get traded.

“They’re going to do what they need. That’s their job,” said shortstop Francisco Lindor. “Their job is to put a team together and our job is to get the wins. They can put together the best team possible, but if we don’t get it done it puts them in a tough position. And that’s going to be a decision they’re going to make, whether they trade to improve the team or trade for the future. We’ve got to go out of there and control what we can control here in this clubhouse.”


The second game of the series began in a delay with thunderstorms in the area. However, rain missed the field, so Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw used the time to play catch with three of his kids. Kershaw and his three sons, Cooper, Charlie and Chance tossed some balls around while the grounds crew laid the tarp. His wife, Ellen, and daughter, Cali, joined them on the field for a family photo.

The future Hall-of-Famer is currently dealing with a sore shoulder and is hopeful for a return in August.


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