Dominic Smith of the Mets reacts after hitting a pop fly...

Dominic Smith of the Mets reacts after hitting a pop fly during the fifth inning against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 22 in Houston. Credit: Getty Images/Carmen Mandato

Dominic Smith, who appears to be a man without a role on the Mets, began a minor league rehab assignment for Triple-A Syracuse at Lehigh Valley on Thursday night.

Smith has been out since July 17 with a right ankle sprain. Since then, the Mets have acquired lefthanded hitters Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin.

Smith is batting .191 with no home runs and a .560 OPS for the Mets. During a previous stint in Syracuse after he was demoted on May 30, Smith hit .266 with two home runs and a .785 OPS. He was recalled on June 20.

“We’ll see how long (the rehab assignment) is going to take,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I envision him getting at-bats and going through a rehab assignment in Syracuse and when he’s deemed ready to physically be activated, then I’m sure (general manager Billy Eppler) and I and the staff will sit down and talk about what’s next . . . Who knows what happens by the time Dom is physically able to start playing again?”

Nimmo honored

Brandon Nimmo was named as the Mets’ winner of the 2022 Heart and Hustle Award, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced.

The award recognizes one player on each team who “demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game,” the Mets said in a news release.

 

It’s the second win for Nimmo, who was the Mets’ heart and Hustle Award winner in 2018.

Extra bases

Catcher Patrick Mazeika was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the roster for James McCann, who was activated off the injured list . . . Showalter refused to say he is platooning Luis Guillorme and Eduardo Escobar at third base. “I don’t use that word,” he said.