During the bus ride from Citi Field to Yankee Stadium on Friday, Brandon Nimmo took stock of his life.
The Mets outfielder was about to return from two months on the injured list, as the team’s leadoff hitter in the Subway Series, and took a moment to reflect on what was happening.
“A huge appreciation for this,” Nimmo said outside the visitor’s dugout at Yankee Stadium. “Sometimes you get so wrapped up in it that you forget how awesome this is and I think this injury has just shown me again how blessed I am to get to do what I am doing.
“I get to come here. I get to work and play in Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, so I have a great appreciation for being here and being healthy and able to play.”
Nimmo had last appeared in a game for the Mets on May 2. He was placed on the IL three days later with a left hand injury that was eventually diagnosed as a torn ligament. That discovery came as a relief to Nimmo, who originally was told he had sustained nerve damage.
In mid-May he was shut down during a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse because of discomfort in the hand. Nimmo went more than five weeks without swinging a bat.
“It was not just being out for a couple of months, it was literally not swinging a bat for six weeks,” Nimmo said.
Before the injury, Nimmo was among the team’s few consistent hitters. He entered play with a .318/.430/.439 slash line, with one homer and eight RBIs. His return will mean less playing time for Kevin Pillar, who had assumed the bulk of the center field duties in Nimmo’s absence.
Nimmo’s return also allowed manager Luis Rojas to shift struggling Jeff McNeil to the No. 6 spot in the batting order.
“I am very excited that [Nimmo] is back, all the things that he does, not only offensively but defensively as well,” Rojas said. “He’s really improved defensively, but right now the offense is the thing I can tell you I am most excited about, the ability to get on base and just the opportunity to sequence quality at-bats because I think he is someone who can get some rallies going for us and I think that is something we need, we haven’t done a lot of that in the last few days.”