Brandon Nimmo’s season ended when he was diagnosed with a sprained right shoulder after he injured himself in a diving attempt at a catch on Thursday against Miami.
The center fielder and the Mets were encouraged, though, that an MRI exam taken Friday showed no structural damage.
Still, he was placed on the injured list and will finish the season having set career-highs with 152 games, 24 homers and 68 RBIs.
“I’m really proud of it,” Nimmo said of his own season, before the Mets swept the Phillies, 4-3 and 11-4, respectively, in a doubleheader Saturday at Citi Field. “I think I made a lot of strides offensively and learned a lot of things to take into next year. Things didn’t work out the way we wanted to, team-wise, but I’m very proud of the strides I made personally.”
And both Nimmo and Buck Showalter expect bigger things from the 30-year-old who signed an eight-year, $162 million deal last offseason.
“He’s one of the guys that attacks his weaknesses,’’ Showalter said. “A lot of players want to work on what they’re good at. Brandon wants to work at things he can get better at and it shows.”
Asked what Nimmo could look to improve upon, Showalter said he’d have to be “pretty picky” to find something.
“He’s had a good year,” Showalter said. “He’s selective at the plate, hits the ball over the fence and can score from anywhere on the field. I’d take the same player next year, but he’ll look for something else.”
Showalter noted that Nimmo has wanted to add more stolen bases to his game.
“The whole stolen base thing, at what risk?” Showalter said. “I know he talks about it. Then you lose him for two weeks on a slide and how smart do we look? [Especially when] you play as important a position [as center field] and lead off.”
Shortly after Showalter spoke, Nimmo did, indeed, say he wanted to “explore” stealing bases with greater frequency in 2024, but only if he finds a way to take advantage of things opposing teams are “giving him” and not putting his body in harm’s way.
For the most part, Nimmo wants to build on what he’s done the past two years when it comes to putting more power in his game, without taking away his on-base prowess.
“I think the last two years have been really productive: 150 games-plus for both of them and that’s really hard to find from the center field position,’’ Nimmo said. “You don’t fix something if it’s not broken.”
He’s just ending this year before would have liked.
Though given how 2023 has gone overall for the Mets, he didn’t seem too bothered.
“It would’ve been nice to finish, but to be honest, this has been a crazy last week,’’ Nimmo said of the wild schedule the Mets have played recently. “Two doubleheaders in a week and playing through a hurricane and staying till 1 a.m. on Thursday and still not finishing a game.”
At one point, all Nimmo could do was laugh.
“Honestly, it’s a cherry on top for how this year’s been,’’ Nimmo said of the brutal 2023 season for the Mets. “It’s not that serious of an injury. I’m not that upset. I did really well and stayed on the field. Little things happen like this. I’m fortunate it happened when it did.”