The latest injury of some concern to New York Mets fans is the stiff neck keeping Brandon Nimmo’s head attached to his body. The oft-injured outfielder could be missing in action for the start of the 2022 season.
If he isn’t present, what could the Mets Opening Day lineup look like without him?
What the Mets starting lineup should look like on Opening Day if Brandon Nimmo isn’t around
Most likely, Nimmo was penciled in to bat first or second in the lineup. Remove him and there’s one very obvious way the Mets should go.
Here’s how the Mets could line them up against Washington Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin:
- Starling Marte, CF
Jeff McNeil, 2B
- Francisco Lindor, SS
- Pete Alonso, 1B
- Eduardo Escobar, 3B
- Mark Canha, RF
- J.D. Davis, DH
- Dominic Smith, LF
- James McCann, C
Of course, this is just one way to do it and probably not what we should expect. More likely, even with a lefty on the mound, I suspect Robinson Cano wiggles his way into the DH spot. There’s also a matter of whether or not someone like Dominic Smith is still with the team by Opening Day. After a full day of trade rumors, we should all have our doubts.
The lineup above does work, though. It gets J.D. Davis’ right-handed bat into the lineup versus the lefty starter. And while it promote the left-handed swinging McNeil to the second spot in the order, there is enough variety throughout. At no point are two lefties hitting back-to-back. Only McNeil and Smith swing from the left side. On the bench, they will have Cano ready for a possible late-game pinch-hitting opportunity if the Nationals put a righty on the mound in a big spot versus Davis. Even then, would Cano perform better?
Also possible, the Mets continue with the plan to have Starling Marte in right field. His presence there was somewhat related to an oblique injury bothering him this spring. The team could always open the year with Mark Canha in center field or possibly even promote Travis Jankowski.
A personal preference: the team has the best lineup possible.
Hopefully, Nimmo’s stiff neck isn’t an issue and he is there for Opening Day to get the first or second hacks of the game. The last several days have been mostly bad news for the Mets organization. Another injury is overkill to what should have been an Opening Day of good vibes only.