Losing two outfielders in the same week is not how the Mets expected their home stand to play out.
Brandon Nimmo limped off the field, alongside a trainer and manager Buck Showalter, after the seventh inning of the Mets’ nightcap against the Cardinals in a doubleheader on Tuesday at Citi Field. Nimmo is dealing with a right quad contusion, the Mets said, and is considered day to day. His X-rays came back negative.
Nimmo fouled a ball off his knee during his at-bat against Cardinals southpaw Genesis Cabrera with two outs in the seventh. He took a moment to walk it off, but returned to the at-bat. Nimmo grounded out to shortstop and sprinted down the line, but started limping once he touched the base. Showalter checked on Nimmo, who was hunched over with his hands on his knees on the grass just north of first base, but it was evident the Mets center fielder was unable to go back out and take the field for the eighth.
So an already thin Mets outfield repositioned for the final six outs of Tuesday’s twin bill. Jeff McNeil, who was playing second, shifted to left. Travis Jankowski, who was playing right, moved to center. Mark Canha, who was playing left, moved to right. Luis Guillorme came off the bench and took over at second base.
“When I went to run and beat that out, the (quad) just wouldn’t fire,” said Nimmo. “I tried to get there the best way I could, give it everything I had. It feels alright now, just got a lump on it. We’ll take it day to day and see how it is in the morning.”
The new-look outfield, with Starling Marte missing an indefinite amount of games on the bereavement list and Nimmo injuring his quad, is an immediate weakness for a Mets team that is suddenly dealing with challenges. James McCann (left hamate surgery) and Tylor Megill (right biceps tendinitis) also hit the injured list this past weekend.
Nimmo was mostly unconcerned about his quad contusion, which he believes is affecting all muscle and no bone, and was hopeful he can be back in the lineup leading off against the Cardinals on Wednesday. Until then, he said he planned to follow the rules of RICE; rest, ice, compression and elevation.
“If I can play, I need to play,” Nimmo said. “Regardless of if Marte was here, I have an important place on this team and I want to be playing if I’m able. It’s going to come down to how I feel in the morning.”