The New York Mets have received some bad news on the injury front recently. Brandon Nimmo re-aggravated his right hamstring during running drills last Friday and did not play in Saturday’s game as originally expected.
Nimmo first pulled his hamstring while representing Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic earlier this month. Jay Bruce, meanwhile, was a late scratch from Sunday’s lineup with a tight right hip. Bruce believes the injury had something to do with fielding ground balls at first base.
Both players plan to return to action at some point this week, according to manager Terry Collins. Bruce could return on Wednesday, while Nimmo should be back by the end of the week. Despite the optimistic prognosis, the Mets must be frustrated by these early injuries. In Nimmo’s case, the young outfielder had made great progress in rehabbing from his initial injury. Nimmo expected to be ready for Opening Day before this latest re-aggravation set him back.
Bruce’s injury was a result of playing a position he is unfamiliar with. Bruce is a natural outfielder, so he is not used to fielding ground balls in the manner of a first baseman. In fact, Bruce only played three games at first base in his entire career.
“Honestly I think it has to do with taking ground balls at first base,” Bruce told Kristie Ackert at The New York Daily News. “Being in a different position, having your hips so engaged, the hip flexor just flared up a little bit.”
Collins removed Bruce from Sunday’s lineup as a precaution. Bruce had Monday off as well. The Mets have a team off-day on Tuesday, so Bruce will have three straight days off. He believes that is plenty of time to get back to 100 percent, telling Ackert he will “be ready to go.”
Collins says he plans to re-insert Bruce into the lineup on Wednesday against the Miami Marlins. As for Nimmo, his re-aggravated hamstring puts his status for Opening Day into question. He expected to compete for a spot off the bench for this season. If his hamstring does not heal in time, he will likely instead find himself starting the season in Triple-A Las Vegas. Nimmo hit .476 in 21 Grapefruit League at-bats before leaving for the WBC earlier this month.
Jesse Andreozzi is a staff writer at Outside Pitch Sports Network covering the New York Mets. Follow him on Twitter @Jesse_Andreozzi