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Nimmo's MRI clean; Mets using caution

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- When a Rich Hill fastball first struck his right hand on Sunday, Brandon Nimmo feared the type of injury that would cost him weeks of a breakout season. Already this year, the Mets had watched Jason Vargas and Kevin Plawecki undergo clean X-rays, only to have subsequent MRIs reveal fractures in their hands. When Nimmo's X-rays likewise came back clean, it did not give him much peace of mind.

But an MRI taken Monday morning showed nothing amiss in Nimmo's sore right pinkie. He went through a series of grip-strength exercises on Monday, in the hopes of returning to the Mets' lineup at some point this week.

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NEW YORK -- When a Rich Hill fastball first struck his right hand on Sunday, Brandon Nimmo feared the type of injury that would cost him weeks of a breakout season. Already this year, the Mets had watched Jason Vargas and Kevin Plawecki undergo clean X-rays, only to have subsequent MRIs reveal fractures in their hands. When Nimmo's X-rays likewise came back clean, it did not give him much peace of mind.

But an MRI taken Monday morning showed nothing amiss in Nimmo's sore right pinkie. He went through a series of grip-strength exercises on Monday, in the hopes of returning to the Mets' lineup at some point this week.

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"Right now, it's just day-to-day," Nimmo said. "Whenever I can swing that bat normally, I'll be ready to go again."

Waking up Monday with only minimal swelling and no discoloration around his pinkie, Nimmo ditched the splint he was wearing after Sunday's game. The Mets will be careful about using him as a pinch-hitter until he is fully ready to go, knowing any game appearance would affect their ability to backdate a disabled-list stint. But that is more of a precaution than anything; the Mets do not expect Nimmo's absence to linger.

The team has reason to root for Nimmo's speedy return, considering he has been their hottest hitter for most of June. Overall, Nimmo is batting .283 with 12 home runs, seven stolen bases and a .974 OPS.

Nimmo also leads the National League with 12 hit-by-pitches, a byproduct of shifting his batting stance closer to home plate. Given his success, he does not plan to alter that approach.

"I don't try to get hit," Nimmo said. "That's part of the game, unfortunately. It's just kind of how it is. If I try and change something, it's not as simple as just changing where you stand on the plate, or changing something in your setup. That affects your swing. And honestly, with the way my swing's been, I don't plan on changing anything any time soon."

Roster move
After using seven pitchers in their 11-inning loss to the Dodgers on Sunday, the Mets made yet another move to fortify their bullpen, calling up right-hander Tyler Bashlor. In a corresponding move, the team optioned Chris Flexen to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Due to move from Double-A Binghamton to Las Vegas on Monday, Bashlor instead went straight to the Majors. He said he called his father around eight times before he could finally get ahold of him to deliver the news.

"The last month or two, I'm kind of getting back to being myself, just letting it go every pitch," said Bashlor, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014. "I'm not trying to control it. I'm just being 100 percent every pitch, and throwing every pitch with conviction."

In 20 appearances at Binghamton, Bashlor posted a 2.63 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 24 innings.

Bashlor made his debut in the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Monday. He pitched two innings of relief and gave up a two-run homer to Josh Bell.

Another step forward
For the first time since last year, David Wright has progressed to full batting practice outdoors. Wright hit at Citi Field on Monday afternoon, extending the list of baseball activities he has completed as he works his way back from back and shoulder injuries.

The Mets still have no timetable for Wright's return. Wright, who has not played in a Major League game since May 2016, has often said that he will curb his optimism until he is able to ramp back up to game speed.

Draft signings
The Mets signed third-round Draft pick Carlos Cortes, a switch-thrower who plays both outfield and second base, and have now inked 28 of their 40 selections -- including each of the first 19. First-rounder Jarred Kelenic will be at Citi Field on Wednesday to take batting practice.

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

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo