Brandon Nimmo week-to-week with ankle and knee sprains
Opening Day is in jeopardy for Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets have avoided the worst with the centerfielder, who left a Grapefruit League game with an ankle injury Friday night. Imaging showed taken Saturday morning showed a low-grade sprain to his right knee and ankle and he’s considered week-to-week.
General manager Billy Eppler says the club is relieved to see no structural damages to Nimmo’s ankle or knee. A week-to-week timeline doesn’t sound promising and it does mean he probably won’t be ready to start the season but Eppler seemed to have some optimism with a little under two weeks left in spring training.
Nimmo was injured sliding into second base Friday night against the Miami Marlins at Clover Park. He appeared to jam his knee awkwardly and manager Buck Showalter said Nimmo caught a spike on his ankle but overall was feeling good.
Without Nimmo, the Mets have a void to fill defensively in center field and at the top of the order. His on-base abilities and speed plus his ability to hit for some power from the left side have made him a valuable leadoff hitter. The Mets’ outfield depth is somewhat thin with Tommy Pham and Tim Locastro but Locastro does bring speed so Nimmo’s injury could open up a spot for him on the Major League team.
Locastro has had a strong spring and went 1-for-3 with a home run off of former Mets right-hander Rafael Montero on Saturday in the team’s 2-0 Grapefruit League win over the Houston Astros.
The Mets assigned two other outfielders to minor league camp on Saturday, sending Jaylin Davis and Abraham Almonte over to the other side of the complex.
After the game, they reassigned right-hander William Woods, catcher Hayden Senger and outfielder Lorenzo Cedrola.
In other injury news, left-hander Jose Quintana had bone graft surgery Friday and the procedure went well. It’s been a tough week for the Mets with the club seeing the losses of Quintana, right-handers Bryce Montes de Oca and Sam Coonrod, as well as closer Edwin Diaz. Nimmo’s injury is unfortunate but the Mets are happy to know that it’s only moderate.
Max Scherzer tossed seven shutout innings in West Palm Beach on Saturday and looks primed for the season. He allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked one.
Tommy Hunter’s candidacy in the bullpen battle cannot be overlooked. The veteran right-hander and clubhouse favorite has not allowed an earned run this spring. The 36-year-old has only given up three hits, walked one and struck out seven in six innings of work.