Buck Showalter had no previous history with Brandon Nimmo before coming to the Mets this season, other than to know that durability has been an issue with the team’s feisty leadoff batter for much of his career.
Nimmo came out of the lineup Tuesday night against the Reds for a rare break this season, after appearing in 102 of the team’s first 110 games. It already marks the second time in his seven seasons in Flushing in which Nimmo has exceeded 100 appearances, but the first time since he played 140 in 2018.
“It’s kind of like Jake [deGrom], I don’t have a lot to compare it to. But I was looking at a lot of things when the job started here, and one of them was games played and kind of what’s been the mode of operation with these guys in the past and some of the load management, and rightfully so,” Showalter said before the game. “I get that every day and talk to our people about it, and we have different ways of looking at it.
“Where Brandon’s concerned, he’s really taken his game in a lot of areas to another level. And part of it has been his durability, knock on wood.”
The 29-year-old center fielder has missed time in recent years with hamstring, finger and hip injuries. Nimmo has been the team’s leadoff batter in 98 of his 99 starts this season, but Showalter replaced him with righty-swinging Mark Canha in Tuesday’s game against Reds lefty Mike Minor.
Nimmo has batted .371 with a .933 OPS in nine August games to raise his overall slash line for the season to .271/.355/.425 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and 67 runs scored, second-most on the team through Monday behind Francisco Lindor (70).
Nimmo, a pending free agent this winter, told The Post last month that the team recently has indicated a desire to retain him on a long-term deal beyond this season.
“They are very interested in me being a Met after this year, but they are going to leave that talk until after the season,” Nimmo said in Miami on July 30. “I think that is great for both of us. Quite honestly I am only worried about winning right now.
“I don’t know where that will lead, but I know they are interested in it and they have expressed that from Buck to the front office. I am very appreciative of that.”
Showalter has seen firsthand this year what others in the organization raved about concerning Nimmo, the organization’s first-round draft pick (13th overall) out of Wyoming in 2011.
“Everybody loved him. And he’s gotten better and is a growing player,” Showalter said. “If you look at some of his background of repetitions and exposure to baseball, like, some of these guys start playing baseball at four or five, and it seems like some of them get burned out after a while. I actually like the guys that pick it up later.
“He’s got such a hunger for getting better at everything. He’s so driven. He’s the same guy every day. He’s gotten a lot more, I think, confident and vocal and in what he knows now, right and wrong. And if he gets a little sideways, he shortens up the bad times and stretches the good times.”
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