Mets: Brandon Nimmo’s impending return adds depth to a depleted outfield
By Staff Writer
The New York Mets are winning despite a lack of healthy outfield depth on the roster. Brandon Nimmo’s impending return will go a long way toward remedying the problem.
The old saying goes, “when it rains…it pours”. For the New York Mets this has always seemed to be the case, whether the team is struggling or, as of late, is exceeding their expectations. Just a few months back, when the Mets were 10 games under .500 and couldn’t get anything going, it seemed like everybody on the team was hitting the IL list and showing no signs of return.
Now, with the team playing energized and .700 winning baseball since the All-Star Break, it seems everyone is trying their hardest to get back on this roster for a final stretch playoff run.
Brandon Nimmo is the latest example of this such pattern. The 26-year-old outfielder has not played in a game since May 20th of this year and was placed on the injured list on May 22 with a bulging cervical disc and inflammation in his neck. Despite being scheduled to rehab and rejoin the big league team sometime in late June, Nimmo suffered a setback and was recommended to shut down all baseball activities for at least the next 30 days by Dr. Robert Watkins.
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Nimmo resumed baseball activities back in late July of this year and began playing minor league games in high A ball earlier this month. He has been progressing and moving up the Mets minor league system for the better part of three weeks now.
Should he continue to remain pain-free, we could see Nimmo return to the big league roster sometime either this coming week or the first week of September.
Seeing Nimmo return to this line up should definitely be a welcome sight for this team down the home stretch of the regular season. With the Mets playing inspired and winning baseball, we could see Nimmo feed off of that energy and return to the promising form he showed back in 2018.
Before hitting the IL, Brandon was only batting a paltry .200 in 43 games played with 48 strikeouts in only 130 official at-bats. His on-base percentage was also off his 2017 and 2018 marks.
With the emergence of Juan Lagares‘ bat and his 2014 and 2015 gold glove defensive status along with J.D. Davis hitting .345 with seven home runs over the last two months, Nimmo might be best served easing his way back onto this Mets roster as a bench player.
Since late July, Lagares is hitting .310 and both Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis have been the Mets best hitters besides Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso. There is no need to mess up that offensive and team chemistry so long as it is winning the Mets baseball games.
Serving as a fourth outfielder along with Rajai Davis and possibly even Jeff McNeil as backups in the outfield, the Mets will now have plenty of options to mix and match their infield and outfield line ups with depending on which pitchers they face on a night to night basis. Both Nimmo and Rajai Davis can also serve as solid left-handed and right-handed pinch-hitting options off the bench late in ball games.
More importantly, we as Mets fans, won’t have to suffer through the historically horrible at-bats of guys like Aaron Altherr anymore in key situations.
Keep in mind, that before last year, Nimmo never had more than 177 major league at-bats in a season for his career. So, the fact that he can serve as an effective player for a full 162 game season is still up for debate.
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For now, as to not rock the boat, I think it would be optimal for Nimmo to come off the bench and provide that much-needed depth we will be needing come the last few weeks of what is sure to be a thrilling Wild Card playoff race in the National League.