Brandon Nimmo’s hamstring strain is not as serious as initially thought, and he should be able to return to Grapefruit League action as soon as this Saturday, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Nimmo initially suffered a Grade 1 strain of his hamstring on Sunday while chasing down a triple in center field for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He was initially expected to miss a few weeks, but that has changed.
The positive news is huge for Nimmo, who is fighting for a job on the Mets’ Opening Day roster. With Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, and Curtis Granderson all in line for starting positions, and Juan Lagares also safely on the roster, Michael Conforto may be sent down to start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas to get consistent reps, opening up a spot for Nimmo. An injury that required him to miss Opening Day would have put the Mets in a tough spot. If Nimmo can return to the field soon, he likely remains the favorite for the fifth outfield spot.
Last year, the 23-year-old hit .274/.338/.329 in 32 games in the majors. He could get an opportunity to prove himself as an important piece of the team’s future should injury occur to the Mets’ outfield this year.