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Offishial news, 4/20/21: Marte’s timeline; rising up The List

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The Marlins host the Orioles on Tuesday without their star center fielder.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Month without Marte?

Later today, the Marlins will officially place Starling Marte on the 10-day injured list with a non-displaced fracture in his 12th rib. Christina De Nicola of MLB.com notices that he has gone down with several other core injuries during his career, though none of them with this specific diagnosis.

Whether Marte’s active roster spot goes to Lewis Brinson, Brian Miller or somebody else, they’ll have plenty of time to get acclimated, judging by how other MLB players have recovered from comparable injuries.

According to the Hitter Injury Dashboard created by Derek Rhoads, big leaguers Austin Hays, Carlos Correa, José Reyes, Craig Gentry, Jett Bandy, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Giambi and Trevor Plouffe have suffered fractured or cracked ribs since 2010. It took between 21 and 58 days for them to be activated from the IL. On average, they missed 35 days. In 2014, Andrew McCutchen returned from his rib injury after only 15 days, but that was a unique situation—an avulsion fracture—so I omitted it from the sample.

It will be easier to estimate Marte’s return date once he is re-evaluated by the medical staff this weekend. In the meantime, let’s operate under the assumption that this is an average case, sidelining him for the next 30 Marlins games.

This is obviously a painful setback for the Marlins, especially offensively. Since 2018 (the first season of the rebuild), they’re the only MLB team to get sub-replacement-level production from center field. The numbers are even yuckier if you exclude Marte’s 43 games from that sample.

It is also a potentially big blow to Marte’s free agent aspirations. Craig Mish speculated just a few days ago that continuing on an All-Star pace could earn him in the neighborhood of $75-100 million guaranteed on the open market. The IL stint is a double whammy, casting doubt about his durability and limiting his opportunities to find his rhythm again upon returning.

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