The Edwin Diaz injury was a massive gut punch for New York Mets fans. The best closer in baseball just re-signed on the largest contract for a reliever in MLB history is likely going to miss the entire season. Mets fans almost got another scare with the Brandon Nimmo injury. Nimmo is another player the Mets just re-signed and is crucial to the team's success. Fortunately for Nimmo and the Mets, the injury appears to be relatively minor, and he feels confident that he'll be in the lineup on Opening Day. Even if he isn't, he shouldn't miss too much time which is a relief.
If Nimmo were to miss Opening Day that'd be nothing new for the Mets as the outfielder missed the opener last season due to a neck injury. Not only did Nimmo miss Opening Day, but he was also out for the Home Opener as he was placed on the COVID list before that game.
Here's what the lineup could potentially look like if Nimmo isn't quite ready to go on day one.
What the Mets starting lineup looks like without Brandon Nimmo
1. Jeff McNeil - LF
2. Starling Marte - RF
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Pete Alonso - 1B
5. Daniel Vogelbach - DH
6. Mark Canha - CF
7. Brett Baty - 3B
8. Luis Guillorme - 2B
9. Omar Narvaez/ Tomas Nido - C
Replacing Nimmo in the leadoff spot is an obvious candidate in my eyes, Jeff McNeil. The two-time all-star is everything you want in a leadoff hitter, and I don't think any Mets fans would complain about him being plugged into that spot. The only thing they might have an issue with is McNeil playing left instead of his usual second base.
The 2-3-4 is what it always was last season, and always should be this season. For all of the frustration, the Mets still had one of the best offenses in the game in 2022 and this 2-3-4 was a huge reason why.
After the top four, the lineup becomes substantially weaker which is why the potential loss of Nimmo is so frustrating. Vogelbach was always going to start against righties, but likely would be hitting lower with Nimmo inserted. He moves up right behind Pete Alonso.
Mark Canha played center field on Opening Day last season and played center when Nimmo missed games. He's not a center fielder and I wish the Mets signed a fourth outfielder who could play center field, but Tommy Pham just isn't that at this stage of his career. Someone like Tim Locastro could play there if the Mets opt to go with a more natural center fielder, but even he is a corner outfielder and despite a good spring, has done very little offensively at the MLB level.
I have Brett Baty starting at third base, I think he's earned it. He would've taken the job and ran last season had he not gotten hurt and Eduardo Escobar not had the month of his life. I think at this point it's Baty's job to lose.
The questionable decision is putting Luis Guillorme in the lineup and having Eduardo Escobar coming off the bench. While Escobar has the capability of playing in places like left field and second base, he hasn't been the versatile version of himself he was prior to coming to New York. With the Mets likely being uncomfortable using him in either spot in a game that counts, I think he'll be a platoon guy to start the year.
This Mets team badly needs Brandon Nimmo so let's hope he's not out for too long.