Shaun Marcum leaves start with calf injury

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Shaun Marcum lasted just four innings today in his second start back from the disabled list, leaving with an injury after throwing 85 pitches against the Cubs.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the injury wasn’t to his arm, as the Brewers announced that Marcum was dealing with right calf cramping.

All of which means there’s still some chance of Milwaukee being able to trade the impending free agent tomorrow, although Marcum wasn’t impressive before leaving and spent more than two months on the DL.

Odds are he’ll stay with the Brewers and hit the open market this offseason, and considering his injury history it’ll be interesting to see if teams are willing to make a big multi-year commitment to a pitcher who, when healthy, has been a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starter.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.