Athletics

Marte's hot 15-game start with A's matches Oakland record

Athletics
Starling Marte hitting

The Athletics' acquisition of Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins for Jesús Luzardo before the MLB trade deadline was met with skepticism by the fan base because of the nature of the deal.

General manager David Forst gave up a 23-year-old lefty pitcher oozing with potential for a two-month rental of a 32-year-old outfielder.

A little more than two weeks after the trade was completed, the move is looking pretty good for the A's.

Marte has been just about everything they could have hoped for through 15 games, and in light of Ramón Laureano's 80-game PED suspension, the trade carries even more significance.

Marte has been so good with the A's that he tied Adam Kennedy for the most hits (26) in a player's first 15 games with the team since the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968. Kennedy accomplished the feat in 2009.

Entering Monday's game against the Chicago White Sox, Marte is slashing .382/.417/.529 with four doubles, two homers, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases. In fact, he's a perfect 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts since arriving in Oakland.

After a recent win over the Texas Rangers at the Coliseum in which Marte went 4-for-5 with a run scored, a run driven in and another stolen base, his teammates were in awe of the impact he has made on the team.

 

"I wouldn't want to pitch to him," A's starting pitcher James Kaprielian told reporters after last Sunday's win over the Rangers. "I'd say he's pretty underrated. The guy does it all, honestly. He's making plays on defense, he's a threat on the bases, he uses all of the field, he's got an unbelievable approach at the plate and he's just a weapon. You look at the guy, he's built like a big leaguer and I'm glad he's on our team. I think [the front office] did a great job of bringing him as an addition to this clubhouse and he fits right in."

Mark Canha is a pretty dynamic player who can do most things on a baseball field, but even he was amazed by what Marte was accomplishing.

"He's a pretty electric player when he's swinging the bat," Canha said last Sunday. "When he gets on base, he's so fast, that's a tool itself and he's hitting right now too, just getting on base a ton and driving in runs, kinda doing it all, so he's been great. Really great."

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Jed Lowrie was asked by NBC Sports California's Dallas Braden what was the source of the A's offensive outburst and the veteran second baseman credited Marte.

"It's pretty easy to point at Marte," Lowrie told Braden. "He's just been doing everything for us. A different element that we haven't had in our lineup and obviously a welcome addition."

It's unlikely the A's are able to re-sign Marte in free agency this winter, but for the moment, he's giving them the spark they need to make a run at the Houston Astros in the AL West race, and potentially a deep playoff run.