The Mets just can’t seem to get a break.
One day after losing closer Edwin Diaz for up to eight months, Brandon Nimmo injured his right ankle in an awkward slide in a Grapefruit League game.
The outfielder, who in December signed an eight-year, $162 million contract to stay with the Met for life, appeared to jam his ankle sliding into second base against the Miami Marlins at Clover Park on Friday night and left the field. with the help of trainer and manager Buck Showalter.
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He will undergo diagnostic tests on Saturday and the Mets will provide a schedule after the diagnosis.
It’s been that kind of week for the Mets. In addition to losing Diaz for what will likely be the entirety of the 2023 season, the club is a few fewer relievers with righties Bryce Montes de Oca and Sam Coonrod and lefty Brooks Raley injured. Montes de Oca was shut down with a forearm strain and Coonrod with a side strain. Raley returned early from the World Baseball Classic with a hamstring injury, but he is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
Losing Nimmo for an extended period would be devastating for the Mets. Outfield depth is already thin and Tommy Pham, the Mets’ fourth outfielder, hasn’t had a good performance at the plate this spring. The 35-year-old who signed with the Mets as a free agent in January is hitting just .133 with a .424 OPS. While the spring training results ultimately mean little, it still doesn’t bode well for a player the Mets will depend on for production.
This could open the door for Tim Locastro, a former Yankees outfielder who has made a career off of his base-stealing ability. Locastro has put together a fantastic spring, hitting .353 with a 1.009 OPS, five doubles, one triple and six stolen bases.
A Grapefruit League injury could dampen some of the talk about the WBC. Fans have been especially angry about Diaz’s injury in what many perceive as a glorified exhibition game. But the reality that spring training games are also exhibition games, and this goes to show that injuries can happen at any time.
Still, losing Nimmo would be an even bigger blow to the Mets’ World Series aspirations. Nimmo is coming off a career year in which he played 151 games. Nimmo made some changes to his workload between games and throughout the spring at the suggestion of the Mets, and he was encouraged by the results he saw and felt he had finally figured out how to stay healthy after battling injuries early in his career. .
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The Mets made a move Friday to bolster that beleaguered bullpen by reclaiming right-hander Dennis Santana from the Minnesota Twins. Santana, 26, had some good results with the Texas Rangers in 2021, but overall he has struggled with command throughout his career, going 7-14 with a 5.12 ERA in 134 appearances with the Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.