It was going to happen eventually.
“I am a competitor, so I want to be out there,” Nimmo said after Conforto’s return from the disabled list sent him to the bench Thursday. “But I also want this team to win, whatever they feel like is best to win, if that’s me coming off the bench, if that’s me starting that day, then that’s what I am gonna do.
“I definitely want to succeed in whatever they ask me to do, so I am going to work hard and do that.”
Nimmo has gone 3-for-8 with three walks in four games so far this season, building off a strong spring where he hit a robust .306/.371/.613.
“We’re glad to see Michael back,” Nimmo continued. “Honestly, if I step back from the personal perspective and I look at it from a team perspective, this is a great problem to have. We have five outfielder who can play on an everyday basis, that’s an amazing place to be when you are a team.
“We’re really happy. As long as we’re winning, we’re all going to be pretty happy around here, so I am just going to try and help out.”
Manager Mickey Callaway admitted that with the crowded outfield, it will be tougher to get Nimmo and Juan Lagares into games, but playing in the National League works in the team’s favor.
“I think Lagares deserves to play, I think Nimmo deserves to play and Conforto is gonna show he deserves to play,” Callaway said. “So, it’s gonna be tough to find everybody the at-bats that they probably deserve, but hopefully we can pick and choose.
“It’s National League, so we’re using almost everybody every night. Hopefully we can pick a big spot for those guys when they are on the bench to come help impact the game.”
A silver lining to this for Nimmo and the Mets is that the outfielder has become an elite pinch hitter in his time with the big club.
“He works hard at it,” Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler said. “Brandon’s not a Type-A personality when it comes to that, he’s a Type-A plus, plus personality. He works hard at it.”
Nimmo has a .414 average in 35 at-bats when pinch hitting in his career including two doubles.
“That’s one thing that they talked to me about in spring. My pinch hitting allows me to stick around and is one of my strengths, honestly, they really like that,” Nimmo said. “Obviously they’ve seen how I improved on an everyday basis as well.”
At the end of the day, Nimmo is going to take whatever role is thrown at him, whether it’s as a starter or late inning sub.
“As of right now, it’s going to be one of those pinch hit roles or fill in when I can. Whatever they ask me to do. I am ready to go. It’s been really good the last two months, to get that everyday role and before that learn how to pinch hit, learn how to come off the bench,” Nimmo said. “So now, I’ve kind of done them both and I am comfortable with both and that’s a good place to be. It’s not such a new uncharted area for me.
“I know my routines for coming off the bench and starting, so I am in a good place right now.”