D-backs’ Lovullo: Ketel Marte’s position may be fluid situation for some time

Feb 22, 2021, 3:08 PM | Updated: 3:14 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte waits for a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game ag...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte waits for a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

It’s no secret that Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte didn’t put up the same type of production last season as he did in 2019.

After blasting 32 home runs for 92 RBI and slashing .329/.389/.592 en route to an All-Star selection, Marte’s 2020 season is one he’d rather put behind him.

Whether it was a nagging wrist injury or a lack of defensive identity for the Dominican, something was off for the switch-hitter last year.

And coming into the 2021 season, the D-backs face a looming question: What position will Marte play?

“I think his versatility is going to enable us to have the most competitive lineup on the field each night that’s going to allow us to score the most runs,” manager Torey Lovullo said Monday via Zoom. “So I like the idea of his versatility enabling us to do so with a plug-and-play type of situation, with perfect matchups for different guys in different spots.

“Because of that versatility, he gives us that advantage. So as I’m thinking through it selfishly, probably being a little bit versatile throughout our defensive alignment is probably something that gives us a chance to win the game and I’m always going to choose that.”

While Marte has the ability to play both the infield and outfield, the Dominican said through a translator on Zoom Monday that he’d prefer to play one position because he has the personal goal of wanting to win a Gold Glove.

Gold Glove selection criteria states that a player will only be eligible at the position he plays at most, which means Marte would have been among the outfielders in 2019 but with the infielders in 2020.

“We’ve just had very basic conversations with him, but we’ve yet to have anything formalized. … We certainly have been keeping him abreast as to what we’re thinking,” Lovullo said.

“But as far as the sit-down conversation with him and getting his input and then when we finally figure out that the plan is, we have not had that yet. And we’re still gathering information but we’ve had some very basic conversations about what some of our thoughts are, but nothing has been written in stone.

“This may be a fluid situation for some time,” he added. “We all need to be a little bit patient through this and understand that there’s some flexibility here. We have a lot of different plans in place, but we need to sit down and talk to Ketel and get his input as well.”

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