PORT ST. LUCIE — It’s medically official: Brandon Nimmo has a big heart.
“I’ve got a lot of love to give,” the Mets’ eternally cheery outfielder said Friday morning at Clover Field.
Nimmo returned to the starting lineup Friday, after missing action Wednesday and Thursday to undergo a series of cardiological examinations, the news of which understandably set off alarms among the Mets’ fan base. It turned out that the 26-year-old has an irregular heartbeat that only manifests itself, Nimmo explained, when he’s resting.
“The one thing they wanted to check for [was that the] heart walls aren’t thickened. They aren’t,” Nimmo said. “I’m healthy. I have a little bit of a larger heart.”
An EKG highlighted the irregular heartbeat, yet Nimmo didn’t panic because he experienced the same problem in 2016, he said. Upon learning of this issue, he underwent a battery of tests and wore a monitor for the subsequent 24 hours as he underwent a stress test, which he passed. The irregular heartbeat doesn’t occur when he’s at peak exertion.
“From the Mets’ standpoint, it was about looking out for my health and making sure they checked all the boxes,” Nimmo said. And now that they’ve done so, he added, “I should be good to go for the rest of my time with the Mets.”
Andres Gimenez smashed a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 3-2 exhibition victory over the Cardinals. The blast was the shortstop’s first of the spring, as he tries to impress on Mets officials that his bat can catch up to his defense.
“Certainly he’s worked a lot in his approach and you can see a little bit more leverage in his swing and also he’s put some more muscle, so good job by our minor league and all the coaches and development,” manager Luis Rojas said. “They’ve done a gone job with him, from the baseball aspect as far as hitting, and nutrition. That is what’s translating right now to him impacting the ball harder and a more consistent basis.”
Gimenez added a leg-kick to his swing last summer that, along with the added muscle, is helping him drive the ball, he said.
“I think it’s helped me tremendously to be able to focus on the offseason and be able to put in all that work so I can stay healthy throughout the season and to be able to help the team win,” Gimenez said.
Rojas said an update was unavailable on Matt Adams, who was scratched from Thursday’s lineup to undergo further cardiac testing.