Brandon Nimmo benched after receiving injection for hip stiffness

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Deesha Thosar, New York Daily News
·3 min read
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Brandon Nimmo underwent an MRI for his lingering right hip stiffness that caused the Mets to be extra cautious with their leadoff hitter and take him out of Tuesday’s lineup.

The MRI, which Nimmo received on Friday after the Mets returned from Chicago, revealed a “mild impingement,” manager Luis Rojas said on Tuesday. Nimmo received an injection in his hip Monday, the team’s off-day, that requires about 24-48 hours to take effect, per Rojas.

In a sigh of relief for the club, Nimmo’s hip discomfort doesn’t appear to be serious. The centerfielder was available off the bench for the Mets’ series opener against the Red Sox on Tuesday. Nimmo went through his usual routine, including hitting in the cage, and Rojas expects him to be in the starting lineup Wednesday.

“He said the process went really well,” Rojas said. “It happened quicker than he expected, but he’s been here since early and he’s getting stretched out and getting his range of motion checked.”

Nimmo first felt his hip stiffness last week during the Mets’ seven-day road trip in Denver and Chicago. Rojas gave him a day off against the Cubs and hoped the rest would help alleviate Nimmo’s discomfort. On Tuesday, the skipper said Nimmo “played through” the aggravation for four games. He went 3-for-11 with a home run, four RBI, two walks and two runs scored in those four games (three starts) since he flagged his hip stiffness.

The centerfielder has been the Mets’ best hitter through his 16 games to start the 2021 season. Nimmo leads the team in batting average (.370), on-base percentage (.477) and OPS (.977), representing one of the few sparks on an otherwise slow-to-start Mets lineup.

DUE UP: SECOND VAX SHOTS

The Mets will receive their second and final round of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday night following their series finale against the Red Sox. The Amazin’s have an off-day on Thursday before they travel to Philadelphia that night.

“We’ve heard about the second vaccine and how possible reactions can happen,” Rojas said. “We’ll see how it is. But we’re doing it tomorrow strategically with the day off ... just to contain anything if it happens.”

Several players recently described receiving the vaccine as a “personal choice” and it is still unclear how many members of the Mets organization got the shot when it was first available to them on April 8. Major League Baseball informed its clubs that if 85% of Tier 1 individuals, which includes players and some staff members, receive the vaccine then several COVID-19 protocols, like mask-wearing and spending time together indoors, will be relaxed.

Rojas said crossing the 85% threshold is “still a work in progress” as players continue to educate themselves on the vaccine.

ROSTER HOUSEKEEPING

Mets reliever Drew Smith was activated from the 10-day injured list Sunday and optioned to the team’s alternate site. The right-hander dealt with shoulder soreness to begin the season and Rojas said he is available to be activated to the big-league roster as soon as the Mets need him.

The Mets went with an extra player (infielder Jose Peraza) on their bench against the Red Sox on Tuesday after the club optioned reliever Stephen Tarpley to the alternate site.