A way to keep Brandon Nimmo in the lineup

One of the biggest questions this offseason by far has been the center field position for the Mets heading into Opening Day. With Michael Conforto sidelined with a shoulder injury to begin the season, the team was left with Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo as their options to play center field. Heading into spring training, Lagares was thought to have the early edge due to his exceptional fielding abilities. That is a totally valid point, considering that he is the most defensively adept player the Mets have on their roster. Nimmo’s only apparent plus was that he had a terrific .379 OBP last season.

Nimmo has had a much stronger camp then Lagares, swinging a .287 batting average and clocking 3 home runs with 10 RBIs. His OBP is at a solid .361. Lagares on the other hand has severely struggled, slumping his way to a .205 average with a single run batted in to his name. There is no question that Nimmo should be the Opening Day center fielder. With such a dynamic presence with Nimmo in the lineup, the Mets have a player that hustles and can reach base, an ideal lead off hitter. This is certainly something that you would not want to loose when Conforto returns from injury to reclaim his rightful spot in the outfield.

As good as Nimmo is, there is no question that Conforto is a better option to put in the lineup. However, simply because Conforto is better than Nimmo, doesn’t mean that Nimmo is undeserving of a spot in the lineup. There is a way that both Nimmo and Conforto can be in the starting lineup, and it has to do with another outfielder.

This offseason, the Mets resigned Jay Bruce to a three year, $39 million contract. Although they signed him as an outfielder, Bruce has experience playing the first base position. Although he registered two errors in the field, the offensive production that Bruce brings to the table would be worth the errors that he would commit. He would certainly be better than the other options that the Mets currently have at first base. Thus far, Adrian Gonzalez has shown nothing at the plate, and Dom Smith has shown nothing at the plate.

When Conforto is completely healed, the top four could potentially look like this:

Leadoff: Nimmo

Second: Conforto

Third: Cespedes

Cleanup: Bruce

Imagine the possibilities of having 90 home runs between your two through four hitters? With the power that Conforto, Cespedes, and Bruce have, it is certainly possible.

Nimmo would be a fantastic lead off hitter, and he’d have the potential to be on base for the top run producers that this team has to offer.

It is clear that Nimmo beat out, or should be out Lagares for the Opening Day spot in center field. The challenge will be once Conforto comes back, to keep Nimmo in the lineup. Nimmo is a capable major league player, and he has shown that so far in spring training. Mickey Callaway is a young manager, so maybe he will be willing to put Bruce at first in an attempt to keep Nimmo in this lineup.

9 comments for “A way to keep Brandon Nimmo in the lineup

  1. Eraff
    March 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

    If He hits, he’ll play a lot

  2. Pal88
    March 24, 2018 at 9:23 am

    The only concern is whether Bruce is adequate at 1B…if he is, then it’s a good plan

  3. Metsense
    March 24, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Conforto will be back soon. Nimmo is the leadoff batter that the Mets have been looking for against right-handed pitching. Bruce should be the first baseman against right-handed pitching. Flores should be the first baseman against left-handed pitching and Bruce the right fielder for those games. Lagares should be considered a late-inning defensive specialist and not take at bats from these offensive players.

    • MattyMets
      March 24, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      Metsense nails it. In addition to the rotation of the four OFs and the inevitable injuries, they’ll all need days off, there will be the DH games and the need for pinch hitters. There’s room for all four to get a season’s worth of at bats. Lagares will get some time too but not as much. While it might not justify his salary, it’s a nice luxury to bring Lagares into a close game in the late innings.

  4. Pete from NJ
    March 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Agree on everything written above. But, I don’t think Jay Bruce has played one inning so far this spring at 1B. Obviously he or management is against the plan because 1) JB can’t field or want the position 2) Adrian Gonzalez’s acquisition would be a failed plan (for the player or management).

    • Mike Walczak
      March 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      OK Jay, you work for us and we pay you well. Dust off the old first basemans mitt and get ready. If Nimmo hits and has a good on base percentage, he should stay in the lineup.

  5. Chris F
    March 24, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    As we get closer to actual baseball games, with player numbers under 80, its time to take a real appraisal of everyone. Nimmo has earned a spot on the 25. He might even have earned a spot as a starter; Im ok with that. However, lets not confuse him with Griffey. Nothing will change the lack of native instincts on hard hit balls. A lot will fall in the 3-5 star attempts. I expect him to grab the basic stuff, not much more. He has a terrible arm, on par with Granny or worse. The other day in one of our many poor performances this spring, he threw him from CF and *only* hit the back of the mound in the air. People will take tons of extra bases on him, including home base. Nimmo in CF is back to lousy defense up the middle. Whether he can hit enough to counter that remains to be seen, but I think he deserves a chance to show us. I think the planning Metsense proposes makes a lot of sense.

    As a side note, it was noce to see bullets being thrown from 3b to 1b on grounders. Its been a loooong time since thats happened in Metsland.

  6. LongTimeFan1
    March 25, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Chris F

    About Nimmo. Don’t confuse bad arm with bad throwing mechanics – there’s a difference. He has the ability to throw well, was drafted with a decent arm – but has gotten into very bad habits over the years thanks in part to bad instruction from the Mets – a Mets policy of throwing everything on a hop which Brandon discussed with the media in the summer of 2015.

    While it looked like he had made improvements earlier this spring, he’s back to sub par technique. The new Mets coaching staff should have relentlessly worked with him this spring to fix something that can and should be fixed.

  7. Eraff
    March 25, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Nimmo has demonstrated that He’ll hurt you a little if you don’t throw him strikes….he needs to show Pitchers that he can hurt them a lot when they do throw him strikes.

    He’s not yet agressive enough in attacking Hit Pitches….He has a lot of upside opportunity with the bat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: