Alfredo Marte’s doubly big day
PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks’ Opening Day Roster features plenty of new faces, but among them three are experiencing their first Opening Day in the big leagues: pitcher Patrick Corbin and outfielders A.J. Pollock and Alfredo Marte.
Corbin and Pollock, though, have already experienced the majors. For Marte, it’s Opening Day and major league debut all in one, though he might not necessarily get into the game today. Things have happened very fast for 24-year-old Marte, as injuries to Cody Ross and Adam Eaton hastened his arrival in the majors as the 25th player on a 25-man roster.
Marte’s stay in the majors figures to be short. Ross is expected back as early as next week, and Marte will likely be the first man sent out. But his stock is up this spring, and a look in the majors can only help his position on the radar going forward.
I caught up with Marte for a few minutes before batting practice to get his reaction to it all. He seemed a little overwhelmed but at the same time calm, as if it hasn’t all hit him yet. Here’s how our brief conversation, through a translator, went.
What’s the excitement or the emotion like being in the majors for Opening Day for the first time?
Marte: “It’s very emotional for me. The truth is it’s a big day, my first day. But if I get a chance to play, I’m just going to play hard and see how it goes.”
Did you think this was possible at the beginning of spring training?
Marte: “I didn’t think so, but you just keep playing hard and see what happens with the opportunity.”
With this being your first Opening Day and major league debut, are your nervous about the opportunity?
Marte: “A little bit, but you just keep playing. When they say ‘Play ball,’ you just get ready to go.
No matter how long you’re up here, what’s the objective? What impression do you want to make?
Marte: “I’m just hoping I might be able to help the team with hitting or maybe on defense, but whatever it is I’m going to try to support the team.”
He doesn’t have a whole lot to say yet, but Marte should be an interesting player to watch going forward. If he keeps growing as the D-backs believe he did this spring, it might not be long before he’s a Chase Field regular.
— Tyler Lockman