Brandon Nimmo hadn’t seen live pitching since spring training was shut down in mid-March before he returned to Citi Field. After two days of taking live batting practice, the outfielder is confident he has enough time to find his timing before the regular season is slated to begin later this month.
But he knows there’s no time to waste.
“That was my biggest concern coming into this thing, was the number of at-bats and we started [Sunday],” Nimmo said following his workout on Monday. “Honestly, we’re starting with a little less than 20 days [before Opening Day], so there’s a lot of time to get at-bats.”
Nimmo said he’s gotten “four or five” in the last two days, “which is already good.”
With teams in store for just a 60-game schedule, every at-bat during the regular season is that much more important.
“One thing I was worried about was at-bats and I think now my mind is more at ease,” Nimmo said. “We’re all trying to… make the right adjustments, so I’m happy we’re doing this sooner rather than later with the at-bats.”
Nimmo said he did what he could while in Port St. Lucie, including when Florida was closed because of the coronavirus.
“There’s not a lot of time to start slow,” Nimmo said. “We all have that in the back of our mind.”
He said he was able to “mimic” at-bats in Port St. Lucie with Luis Rojas and other coaches changing the speed and distance from where balls were coming from, but Nimmo noted he senses hitters have been late on fastballs during the first two days of simulated games at Citi Field.
“Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll start to right that ship,” Nimmo said. “It’s always hard, whether it’s 10 days or a few months off, to get right back into it.”
And while fields were closed for a time in Florida, Nimmo was able to continue to be at least somewhat productive with the help of a makeshift gym in Nimmo’s garage.
He reformatted his garage with a little help from Westside Baptist Church in Fort Pierce, Fla.
“Luckily, Westside Church was really nice to us and let us borrow a bunch and we added a few dumbbells and we brought it from there to the gym… or the garage,” Nimmo said. “It allowed us to be able to get some work in. Not everything, obviously.”
There were limitations.
Nimmo said the heaviest equipment he had was 60-pound dumbbells, but he and Jeff McNeil made it work.
“You had to do the best with what you had,” Nimmo said. “I let Jeff come in and take turns and work out. He sprayed everything down. We turned it into a little gym for us while everything was shut down in Florida. We were able to get some work in — and some was better than none at that time.”