Mets’ Starling Marte struggles with an uneven start on bases

Starling Marte’s speed has in some cases created runs out of thin air, while in other cases it has made potential runs disappear.

During the first month plus of the 2022 Mets season, her most exciting offensive addition has been and he has been taking away. Ultimately, there is still room for improvement in his base running.

When Marte entered the Mets game Wednesday night in Washington, she had stolen four bases. He’d also been caught four times, most often in baseball — and only three players had been caught three times. Mets whose names weren’t Marte had only been caught stealing twice.

A season after leading Major League Baseball with 47 steals (and only getting sacked five times), Marte has started this campaign, well, slowly. During his first 28 games last season with the Marlins, Marte had swiped six bags and been caught once.

“One thing I know, the pitchers give him a lot of attention,” said Mets manager Buck Showalter. “Our boys want to be there [being] aggressive in the right situations. We will burn some of them [the time]to.”

Starling Marte had an uneven start on the base paths.
Starling Marte reacts after being kicked out and attempts to steal second base.
Starling Marte reacts after being kicked out and attempts to steal second base.
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As of Wednesday, Marte had not attempted a steal in his last five games and had not stolen a base in his previous 13 contests, a stretch in which he had been knocked down on bases twice.

According to the manager and outfielder, Marte still has the green light whenever he wants.

“I’m the one deciding not to walk the base paths right now,” Marte said through translator Alan Suriel.

When the 33-year-old slowed down, he didn’t slow down much. According to Statcast data, Marte’s average sprint speed this season was 28.2 feet per second, just a hair off his 28.4 feet per second mark from last season and still enough to post big steal totals.

It’s possible that what might slow his attempts is hesitation due to the increasing number of times he’s been caught.

On April 20, he started to second base in the seventh inning while the Mets were four behind the Giants. There were runners in the corners and Francisco Lindor on the plate, but Marte made third place in second and abandoned a rally. After that defeat, Marte said he had no regrets about the play and was just trying to make an impact.

Since then, he’s only had one stolen base and three attempts through Wednesday.

Marte said there were no physical ailments that plagued him. He’ll likely keep running, and the Mets said they would keep the lights on.

“I don’t think we shut it down all year,” Showalter said. Mets’ Starling Marte struggles with an uneven start on bases


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