New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo is hoping that he’ll be able to return to action for his team’s final two spring training games as a part of his final preparations before Opening Day.
The 29-year-old lead-off man suffered a sprained knee and ankle last week against the Miami Marlins while sliding into second base and was originally prescribed a week-to-week timeline — obviously putting his status for the start of the 2023 season in jeopardy.
But Wednesday provided a positive update for Nimmo, who had a full day of work on Tuesday that featured hitting, fielding, and running — as first reported by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
It’s a vital bit of good news for the Mets, who had been hit especially hard by the injury bug as of late. Just a day before Nimmo’s injury, closer Edwin Diaz was likely lost for the season when he suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that required surgery.
The general timetable for a return is eight months, but the Mets are hoping he could get back before then.
While the organization weighs the options of bringing in more options for the bullpen, it appears they won’t have to worry about how they’ll re-arrange their outfield. The Mets don’t have a true backup center fielder which would have left veteran Mark Canha to patrol the largest part of Citi Field with Starling Marte in right and Tommy Pham in left.
Nimmo’s solid defense would have been sorely missed, which is a newer feature of his game that took a sizable step forward last season. His impact offensively, though, is no secret. At the very top of the Mets’ lineup, he posted an .800 OPS with 16 home runs, 64 RBI, and a league-leading seven triples in a — most importantly — career-high 151 games played in 2022.
Injury issues have often hampered the Wyoming native having played in more than 100 games just once in his previous six MLB seasons before last year.