On Monday, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo made his first start since May after recovering from a neck injury. The 26-year-old has come a long way from what he described when his neck “completely froze up.” In his first start back, Nimmo showed the club what he does best by getting on base three times via two walks and a double. The Mets certainly can use this new reinforcement to bolster their lineup, providing roster flexibility where guys like J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil can shift to the infield as needed.

Throughout his career, Brandon Nimmo has been an on-base machine which has resulted in an exceptional wRC+ (weighted runs created plus). Most notably, he posted a 149 rating just last year which was good for sixth best in the majors right between Alex Bregman and Jose Ramirez. A high level review of this statistic, as described by Fangraphs, is to ”measure a batter’s value using a cumulative statistic that credits a player for total production rather than on an at bat by at bat basis” or more simply put “a measure of how many runs a player contributed to his team with their bat.” wRC+ is park and league adjusted which also transcends time. Why is this important? For the Mets, who are clawing their way into the playoff picture and rank 8th in the National League in runs scored, every run is pivotal.

Nimmo is looking to put the start of his 2019 season behind him; ever since his chicken was undercooked and he missed time in the preseason, he has seemed ‘off.’ In the 43 games prior to the neck injury, Nimmo posted a paltry .200/.344/.323 slash line, far removed from his breakout 2018 campaign. Amazingly, despite the poor hitting, he still owns a respectable OBP and wRC+ on the season which have since worked their way to .359 and 98 respectively in just the two games since he was activated. In his two starts, Nimmo is 2 for 5 with a double and a home run, three walks and two runs scored. The Mets have scored 17 runs across both of those games and were lined up to win them both if not for a ninth inning implosion last night. If Nimmo can round into his vintage form it seems as though the club will continue to put up runs, which is right what the doctor ordered for the resurgent pitching staff.

It doesn’t take much to notice that the Mets lack a true center fielder and are stocked with an excess of corner outfield depth. Nimmo fits into this category as his career UZR in center field is much worse than either of the corner slots. It will be interesting to see how Nimmo performs over the final 24 games of the season. We know that his name came up in trade conversations last offseason and they would certainly continue to do so with only Yasiel Puig and Marcell Ozuna leading the list of upcoming free agent outfielders. Flipping Nimmo for either third base or center field help would improve the Mets lineup construction, leaving the corners for J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto. Of course, retaining their home-grown talent who plays baseball the right way and always with a smile would be nice too.

8 comments on “Brandon Nimmo is back

  • Chris F

    It will be interesting to see how they handle Conforto, Cespedes, Nimmo, Davis, McNeil, hell, even Smith (yes, I said that reluctantly) for 2 OF positions.

    McNeil and Davis surely need every day positions.

    Cano 20M$
    Lowrie 10M$
    Ces 25M$

    >50M$ won’t be allowed to ride the pine, and none have any trade value.

    We (owners, FO, coaches, players, fans) cannot accept playing people out of position and expect top performance. Nimmo’s play in CF is terrible. Conforto unacceptable. Ces = No.

    McNeil is not really a passable 3B.
    Smith is not an OF

    What you get is serious inconsistency playing people out of what they know. The challenge to fix the problems we have is real.

    Oh, theres a pen issue too.

    • Peter Hyatt

      Pen issue, Chris?

      • Chris F


    • Chris B

      There’s certainly a place for Brandon Nimmo on this Mets Roster and I believe that the team is better because he’s here. If you can find a way to get Nimmo and Conforto in the corners while still getting Davis and McNeil in the starting lineup then that is the best result.

      Unfortunately I don’t see the DH coming to the NL anytime soon so Cano is locked into 2B.

      • Chris F

        Cespedes ?

        2- Ramos $$$
        3- Alonso
        4 – Cano $$$$
        5 – Lowrie (but will he be a defensive plus here) $$
        6 – Rosario
        7 – Ces $$$$
        8 – ?????? Nimmo not a passable CF, Conforto not a passable CF
        9 – McNeil, Davis, Smith????

        How does it work? I just cant figure it out without trading.

  • Brian Joura

    Nimmo got off to a horrible start but after 16 games he had an .842 OPS.

    Then he came out of a game in the first inning and didn’t play again until three days later. From that point (4/20) until he went on the IL, Nimmo had a .536 OPS as he tried to play through an injury.

    He wasn’t “off” as much as he was injured.

    And for people who worried that he would have too much rust to be useful when he returned – he seems to be doing just fine.

    • Chris F

      But he is a certifiably poor centerfielder.

  • Peter Hyatt

    I’m just glad to see after hitting a home run last night, he’s benched.

    So is Panik.

    But we’ve got the Cano & Broadie Show on Youtube!

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