The Mets have shut down injured outfielder Brandon Nimmo from baseball activities for the next month, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was among those to report. Nimmo has been on the injured list since May 21 with a bulging disc in his neck.
Nimmo received his second epidural Tuesday since going on the IL, per DiComo. At this point, the Mets aren’t considering surgery for the 26-year-old, according to manager Mickey Callaway. Nevertheless, the fact that Nimmo will miss significantly more time than he already has is unwelcome news for the Mets, who – at 34-38 – haven’t had much go their way this season.
Nimmo, whom the Mets chose 13th overall in 2011, was one of the majors’ prominent breakout players in 2018. He slashed .263/.404/.483 (149 wRC+) with 17 home runs and 4.5 fWAR across 535 plate appearances. Nimmo wasn’t nearly as effective this year before going on the IL, evidenced by a .200/.344/.323 line (89 wRC+), though that was only a 161-PA sample size.
Even considering Nimmo’s massive offensive decline this season, a healthy version would likely be the Mets’ best option in center field. Carlos Gomez and Juan Lagares have gotten all the playing time in center since Nimmo went down, but neither player has produced. They’re now drawing up plans to turn to right fielder Michael Conforto in center, Jeff McNeil in right and Dominic Smith in left, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. All three of those players have been among the Mets’ best hitters in 2019, but Conforto struggled mightily in center last season and Smith hasn’t shown he can handle the outfield on a consistent basis.