It should come as no surprise that Brandon Nimmo is keeping a positive attitude as he awaits an MRI on his right hand Monday morning.
The 25-year-old Mets outfielder exited Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Dodgers in the seventh inning after getting hit on the pinkie by Rich Hill’s 87-mph fastball in the fifth.
Nimmo said X-rays of his finger came back negative but that it still was sore and reached the point that it was too painful to swing a bat.
“I went in, trying to swing for a little bit, and got pain right away from the dry swing,” said Nimmo, who wore a splint with tape on his hand after the game. “I tried with some contact on a few balls and I was just not able to swing the way that I know that I should be able to . . . So I was no more help to the team at that point.”
Nimmo reached on a hit by pitch twice Sunday and also was plunked in his first at-bat but was called back after plate umpire Jerry Meals said he leaned into the ball. He has seen his on-base percentage and popularity with the fans soar, thanks in part to how often he gets hit and the way he then sprints to first base. He’s been hit by 12 pitches this season, tops in the National League, and leads the team with a .403 on-base percentage.
But when the 2011 first-round selection was hit in the pinkie, there was no immediate sprint down the line. Nimmo went down to a knee in pain but remained in the game to run and play the field. He was replaced by Michael Conforto in centerfield to start the seventh inning.
“As the time continued to go on, it ached a lot more,” Nimmo said. “Right when it first happened, it obviously hurt, but then when I was kneeling on the ground, I kind of moved it around a little bit and I was like, ‘OK, I think it’s OK.’ I got down to first base and as I started to run and time started to go on, it just started to swell up on me a little bit and the pain started setting in a little more.”
After assuming a larger role following injuries suffered by outfielders Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares and Jay Bruce, Nimmo is hitting .280 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in June. He is one of the bright spots on a Mets team struggling to find runs and wins.
Nimmo understands that just because the X-ray came back negative doesn’t mean an MRI won’t find something wrong.
“It’s positive news when you hear that it’s negative, but I do understand there are a lot of small bones and ligaments and all that stuff in the hand,” he said. “I’m optimistic because it’s not what I think a broken bone would feel like. I’m just going to try to wait until [Monday] to see what they have to say with the MRI.”