Brandon Nimmo’s next game could be for the Mets.
The rehabbing outfielder received five plate appearances Sunday for Triple-A Syracuse, after which he was facing a scheduled day off. If Nimmo indicates he is ready, he will likely be activated for Tuesday’s game in Atlanta, manager Luis Rojas said before the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Phillies.
Nimmo last played for the Mets on May 2 and has spent the weeks since rehabbing from a left hand injury that was originally called a bone bruise in his index finger. Nimmo later indicated there was nerve damage and a ligament tear. He had been close to returning in mid-May, but was shut down from a rehab assignment because of discomfort in the hand.
Nimmo would join Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto as Opening Day starters who have returned in just over a week. Before the injury Nimmo was among the few Mets players producing offensively, with a .318/.430/.439 slash line with one homer and eight RBIs.
His return will likely most affect Kevin Pillar, a member of the Mets’ heralded “Bench Mob” who has filled in admirably as a starter during Nimmo’s absence.
Marcus Stroman will be away from the team this week following the passing of his grandmother in recent days. Rojas, who expects Stroman to make his next start, said it’s possible the right-hander will be placed on the bereavement list, allowing the Mets to add a player.
Rojas added that Stroman pitched Sunday because he wanted to put the team first.
The Mets plan to keep Jacob deGrom on normal rest, meaning he would start Thursday in Atlanta and miss pitching in the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
By keeping deGrom on normal rest, the Mets ace would pitch three times before the All-Star break, including the final Sunday. But it also means deGrom would potentially be unavailable to pitch in the All-Star Game in Colorado. Rojas said it’s too early to say if deGrom facing the Pirates on July 11 would preclude him from pitching in the All-Star Game.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Rojas said. “We can’t say that right now, pitch count and how he feels. … The good thing is we are getting him three starts before the All-Star break, so I think it works great for us.”
J.D. Davis is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday. The third baseman, who has been on the IL since May 2 with a left hand injury, has taken batting practice the last three days. Jonathan Villar (calf), Tomas Nido (hand) and Jeurys Familia (hip) will also likely see action for Syracuse this week, according to Rojas. Familia, who threw a bullpen session, is eligible to be removed from the IL on Thursday.