As spring training crawled to its conclusion, Brandon Nimmo appeared to have a spot on the Mets’ bench. Both he and the team fully expected that he would be among those standing on the foul line come Opening Day.
Then, the injuries came. First, it was a nagging hamstring issue that began during the World Baseball Classic, then a hand problem that popped up after making a swing. It’s part of the reason that Nimmo did not rejoin the Mets until before Friday’s game against the Nationals.
“I don’t really know how it happened,” Nimmo said. “I hit a changeup off the end of the bat and all of a sudden my hand was like burning on fire.”
Nimmo, 24, was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas after the Mets sent Juan Lagares to the disabled list with a broken left thumb. Now, the lefthanded-hitting Nimmo will come off the bench, just as was originally intended.
“It’s great to be back, just trying to help these guys however I can,” said Nimmo, who hit .274 for the Mets in 32 games last season. “I’m healthy and I’m excited about that. Just glad to be back.”
Unlike a season ago, when he admitted to being a “nervous wreck” after his first promotion to the big leagues, Nimmo returns with a sense of familiarity. But he was hitting just .223 in 38 games with Triple-A Las Vegas.
“I’ve been better,” Nimmo said. “But what I love about here is that I have the resources that I need to get better. So I’m going to take full advantage of that and work my tail off.”
The Mets officially placed righthander Matt Harvey on the disabled list with what the club termed a “stress injury” in his shoulder. Infielder Matt Reynolds was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas . . . After tossing three shutout innings Thursday night, righthander Rafael Montero will be considered for a spot start in Harvey’s place in the rotation next week.