New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo needs to play a lot more if he has any chance at seeing the All-Star Game.
To say the New York Mets have treated Brandon Nimmo unfairly is an understatement. When they needed a roster spot earlier this year, they sent the beloved outfielder to Las Vegas. He didn’t stay there long, but it was rather clear what the team thought of him.
The Mets did not view Nimmo as an everyday player. Even while Michael Conforto struggled, Nimmo is the one who sat.
Weeks later, Nimmo is one of the team’s most consistent players. His positive attitude and ability to get on base is unchallenged. As much as I would love to see him have an All-Star season, he will need more playing time.
In Sunday’s finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, Mickey Callaway sat Nimmo in favor of Jose Bautista. While I like seeing Bautista get a start, Nimmo needs to play this game. If anyone sits, it needs to be the guys hitting under .250.
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We can question the lineups every game if we want. While I acknowledge Nimmo needs occasional rest, it’s hard to justify a starting lineup without his name at the top. He’s the closest to a true leadoff hitter the Mets have and the straw the stirs this offense. Without him, they are incredibly unbalanced.
Nimmo should have more opportunities to play before the All-Star Game in mid-July. However, those plate appearances will diminish once Cespedes comes back.
This team is in a bit of a bind. They can’t bench Cespedes or Bruce because of the money they’re making. It’s also hard to put Adrian Gonzalez on the bench, too. After all, the veteran first baseman has been one of the better hitters this year.
This leaves the Mets with a choice. It’s between Nimmo and Conforto. The tough part about this is that they are similar players. The difference is Nimmo has hit this year and Conforto has not.
At most, the Mets can rotate Nimmo, Confort, Bruce, and Gonzalez on the bench. This would mean Nimmo plays four or five games a week. It’s not nearly enough to call him All-Star worthy especially when the National League has a lot of outfielders with more chances to prove their worth.
When the season is over, Nimmo could have All-Star numbers. The problem is, he may not have the numbers of games played that others do.
As one of the league’s least selfish players, I don’t think Nimmo minds sharing innings with his teammates. An All-Star appearance looks very possible in his future.
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Hopefully, the Mets figure out a way to plug him into the lineup a lot more regularly in 2019.