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Nimmo cleared to resume baseball activities

Adams scratched with cardiac issue; Canó to debut Friday
@AnthonyDiComo
February 27, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. -- Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo has been cleared to resume baseball activities following a two-day round of cardiac testing in Port St. Lucie. Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Thursday that “all the tests came back in a good fashion,” and Nimmo will resume working out with

JUPITER, Fla. -- Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo has been cleared to resume baseball activities following a two-day round of cardiac testing in Port St. Lucie.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Thursday that “all the tests came back in a good fashion,” and Nimmo will resume working out with his teammates on Friday. He is a full go for games and will start in center field on Friday.

A late scratch from Wednesday’s Grapefruit League contest, Nimmo left the Mets’ complex to undergo cardiac screening due to something flagged in a previous medical report. A source defined the issue as an irregular heartbeat that Nimmo has been aware of since 2016. Testing at the time came back negative, but a new member of the Mets’ medical staff wanted to retest Nimmo rather than go by old results.

Neither Van Wagenen nor a Mets spokesman would discuss the details of Nimmo’s testing, though his wife, Chelsea, said on Twitter that he is “fine … healthy and feels great.”

“We’re always looking to be precautious,” Van Wagenen said. “We never want to put players in harm’s way, and I think this was a perfect example of that.”

Nimmo was unavailable for comment while he underwent testing. He is expected to speak on Friday morning.

Another Mets player, non-roster invitee Matt Adams, was also scratched from Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Marlins for a similar reason. Adams will undergo additional cardiac screening this week.

“Neither player has had any symptoms that cause concern,” Van Wagenen said. “This is just making sure we’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on all the tests.”

In Nimmo’s case, the timing of his removal raised alarm bells because the Mets did not inform him of his scratch from Wednesday’s game until about 20 minutes before first pitch. Projected as the Mets’ starting center fielder, Nimmo missed more than three months last season due to a bulging disk in his neck, but he rebounded to hit .261 with five homers, two stolen bases and a .995 OPS in September.

Nimmo has never experienced symptoms of his irregular heartbeat, nor has he received any medication for it in the four years since he was initially diagnosed.

“As far as his being a baseball player in any way, shape or form, we have no concerns,” Van Wagenen said.

Catching matters

The Mets were among those teams to inquire about free-agent catcher Russell Martin, a source confirmed to MLB.com, though that interest appears to have waned now that camp is in full swing.

The Mets pivoted late in the offseason to René Rivera to provide veteran depth behind Wilson Ramos and Tomás Nido. If everyone comes out of Spring Training healthy, Nido stands a strong chance of making the team by virtue of the fact that he is out of Minor League options.

Martin, 37, is a 14-year veteran of four big league teams. Mets officials came away from their offseason conversations uncertain of Martin’s desire to continue playing.

Under the lights

Thursday’s Mets starter, Rick Porcello, laughed when asked if he experienced anything different pitching in a rare Spring Training night game.

“No, besides the fact that we’re used to getting up at 6 a.m.,” Porcello said, laughing. “It’s still 60 feet, six inches.”

Making his second spring start, Porcello held the Marlins scoreless for two innings, allowing two hits and striking out a pair.

“There are always things to work on,” Porcello said, noting that he intends to focus on his fastball command in future outings. “This is only the second time out. There’s a long way to go.”

Up next

Robinson Canó will make his spring debut in Friday’s 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Cardinals, after sitting out the first week of Grapefruit League games to continue strengthening his legs. Canó missed significant time last season due to hamstring and quad issues, but he intends to bounce back in his age-37 season.

Also scheduled for his second Grapefruit League appearance for the Mets is starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.