One of the first things one notices watching Brandon Nimmo play baseball is the way he hustles.
So it was not surprising that the third-year pro was named the Mets’ Heart & Hustle Award recipient Tuesday by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
The honor — the only MLB award voted on by former players — is given to one player from each team. The overall winner will be announced in New York City on Nov. 8 at the 19th Legends for Youth Dinner. (The Yankees’ Brett Gardner won the award last season, and Todd Frazier, then with the Chicago White Sox, won in 2016.)
“It’s a huge honor, obviously,” said Nimmo, who entered Tuesday night’s game with a .251/.375/.483 slash line, a career-high 13 homers and 31 RBIs this season. “I take pride in it, because of the way I try to play the game: I try to respect the game. I try to hustle, and I try to play the game the right way.”
Although the outfielder realizes he’s been struggling lately (Nimmo is hitting .183 in July), the 25-year-old strives to do his best.
“I try to keep the same positive mindset going into every game,” said Nimmo, who hustled to first base after a first-inning walk Tuesday night. “Even if I’m not hitting the way I want, or playing the way I want, I can still control the effort that I put into the game.”
Oswalt starts Wednesday
Corey Oswalt will make his fifth big-league start at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday against the team he grew up watching: the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego native is 0-2 with a 5.64 ERA this season for the Mets. However, the 6-5, 245-pound righthander was solid in his last start July 15.
Oswalt (no relation to former MLB pitcher Roy Oswalt) pitched five innings and allowed one run and two hits with no walks and one strikeout in a no-decision against Washington.
Manager Mickey Callaway will be interested to see how the 24-year-old pitches for the first time since the Sunday before the All-Star break.
“He’s going to have a few extra days rest, which is concerning sometimes,” Callaway said. “But he’s in a really good spot mentally, physically and mechanically, so we’re excited to see him again.”
Nimmo was hit by a pitch Monday night and leads the majors in that category with 16. He also holds the Mets’ single-season record. Lucas Duda held the previous mark of 14 in 2015 . . . The Mets are on a 17-series losing streak since a home sweep of Arizona, May 18-20.