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Brandon Nimmo leaves spring training game vs Marlins with apparent ankle injury

The Mets just can’t seem to catch a break.

One day after losing closer Edwin Diaz for up to eight months, Brandon Nimmo injured his right ankle on an awkward slide in a Grapefruit League game.

The outfielder, who signed an eight-year, $162 million contract to remain a Met for life in December, appeared to jam his ankle sliding into second base against the Miami Marlins at Clover Park on Friday night and left the field with the help of the trainer and manager Buck Showalter.

He will undergo imaging Saturday and the Mets will provide a timeline after a diagnosis.

It’s been that kind of week for the Mets. On top of losing Diaz for what will likely be the entirety of the 2023 season, the club is down a few relievers with right-handers Bryce Montes de Oca and Sam Coonrod and left-hander Brooks Raley injured. Montes de Oca was shut down with a forearm strain and Coonrod with a lat strain. Raley returned early from the World Baseball Classic with a hamstring injury but he’s expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Losing Nimmo for an extended period of time would be devastating for the Mets. The outfield depth is already thin and Tommy Pham, the Mets’ fourth outfielder, has not had a good showing at the plate this spring. The 35-year-old who signed with the Mets as a free agent in January is hitting just .133 with a .424 OPS. While spring training results ultimately mean little, it’s still not a good sign for a player the Mets will depend on for production.

This could open the door for Tim Locastro, a former Yankees outfielder who has made a career off of his base-stealing prowess. Locastro has put together a fantastic spring, hitting .353 with a 1.009 OPS, five doubles, a triple and six stolen bases.

A Grapefruit League injury could tamp down some of the discourse about the WBC. Fans have been especially angry about Diaz’s injury coming in what many perceive to be a glorified showcase game. But the reality that spring training games are showcase games as well, and this shows that injuries can occur at any time.

Still, losing Nimmo would be an even bigger blow to the Mets’ World Series aspirations. Nimmo is coming off a career year in which he played 151 games. Nimmo made some changes to his workload between games and during the spring at the suggestion of the Mets, and he was encouraged by the results that he saw and felt he had finally figured out how to stay healthy after battling injuries early in his career.

The Mets made a move Friday to bolster that beleaguered bullpen by claiming right-hander Dennis Santana off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The 26-year-old Santana had some good results with the Texas Rangers in 2021 but overall has struggled with command throughout his career, going 7-14 with a 5.12 ERA in 134 appearances with the Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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