New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo is considered to be "week-to-week" after suffering low-grade sprains to his knee and ankle sliding into second base in Friday's spring training game against the Marlins, according to what general manager Billy Eppler told reporters on Saturday. It's unclear if he'll be able to return to the lineup in time for the Mets' season-opening contest on March 30 against those same Marlins in Miami.
Here's a look at the play in question:
Brandon Nimmo limps off the field after an awkward slide into second base: pic.twitter.com/2tiyghvC1o— SNY (@SNYtv) March 17, 2023
Nimmo's diagnosis came after he underwent an MRI on Saturday so that doctors could rule out a serious injury. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters after the game that Nimmo himself didn't think it was serious.
If Nimmo is unable to open the season on the active roster, the Mets would likely slide Mark Canha or Starling Marte to center. (Canha was their plan B there in 2022.) The Mets do not have a true backup center fielder on their 40-player roster, but they do have Tim Locastro in camp on a minor-league pact. In theory, he could be added to begin the year. He is out of options, however, meaning he would need to clear waivers to return to the minors.
Nimmo, who turns 30 in late March, is coming off a 2022 season in which he slashed .274/.367/.433 with 16 home runs and an NL-leading seven triples. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 130 across parts of seven major-league seasons, all with the Mets. This offseason, Nimmo and the Mets agreed to terms on an eight-year, $162 million contract extension.
Nimmo's injury comes mere days after the Mets lost All-Star closer Edwin Díaz to a knee injury suffered during a World Baseball Classic mound celebration. Díaz will likely miss the entire 2023 season. The Mets will also open the season without veteran southpaw José Quintana. He's expected to miss the first half following a bone graft to his rib area.