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D-backs shut down Ketel Marte for remainder of season due to back injury

Infielder Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a ground ball out against the Texas Rangers during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 10, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks star Ketel Marte has been officially shut down for the season due to a lower-back injury, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.

Gilbert wrote in the Tweet that Marte has a “stress reaction in his lower back” and that GM Mike Hazen “expects Marte to be completely recovered by Spring Training.”

Marte, who made his first All-Star game this season and has split time between center field and infield, left Tuesday’s game due to lower-back inflammation and got an MRI on Wednesday.

He finishes his breakout season with 32 home runs, 92 RBI and a .329 batting average with an OPS of .981. As of Friday, he was one of six players to have a fWAR higher than 7.0.

With Marte leading the way, the D-backs remained relevant in the National League Wild Card race throughout the season. They came as close as 1.5 games of the final postseason spot in early September before losing 11 of 12 games to all but fall out of the race.

Now that Marte is ruled out for the season, the D-backs’ unlikely run has likely come to an end.

As of Friday afternoon, the D-backs were five games out of the wild card with three teams between them and the Milwaukee Brewers in the second NL Wild Card spot.

Marte was paid only $2 million this season and is on a remarkably team-friendly contract. He is on year two of a five-year, $24 million deal, and the team has two option years in 2023 and 2024 to extend him further.

With playoff hopes dwindling and the health of a franchise cornerstone in question, the D-backs prioritized the future with Marte.

Arizona has nine games left this season. The team begins a three-game set at the San Diego Padres on Friday and will return home for a series against the St. Louis Cardinals before closing out the year with a series against the Padres.

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