PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — When reviewing Brandon Nimmo’s electrocardiogram (EKG) from a spring physical, the New York Mets’ team cardiologist spotted what appeared to be an irregular heartbeat.
Nimmo was not surprised because doctors flagged him for the same reason in 2016.
"Irregular heartbeat" does not sound good, but Nimmo is not concerned. He is safe and healthy, and should have no issues going forward.
“It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t happen when I get up to 85 percent of my heart rate,” Nimmo said Friday. “It doesn’t affect how I play or anything. It’s really just a resting heart rate. And they honestly told me it's because I’m an athlete and a lot of athletes have this, and my heart has just become really efficient at pumping blood through.”
He needed additional cardiac testing because the cardiologist wanted to ensure he did not possess an irregular heartbeat when he reached “peak physical exertion.” They put him through testing that lasted 24 hours.
Nimmo wore a device for 24 hours and doctors detected nothing abnormal or dangerous. He also underwent a stress test in which they hooked him up to multiple sensors and had him run on a treadmill to confirm the irregular heartbeat would not show up when his physical activity reached its peak.
He also took an echocardiogram test to ensure his heart walls had not thickened. That, too, came back normal.
“I’m healthy,” Nimmo said. “I guess I have a little bit larger heart. But hey, I’ve got a lot of love to give.”
From the two-hole, Nimmo went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the Mets' 3-2 win over St. Louis on Friday at Clover Park. He played in center field.
Not long before first pitch on Wednesday, the Mets scratched Nimmo from the lineup. They announced the reason why shortly after, which caused anxiety — for good reason — among fans. His teammate, Matt Adams, was scratched from Thursday night’s lineup for the same reason and the Mets are awaiting news on him.
Nimmo said he will not have to monitor this situation going forward. He doesn’t believe he’ll ever have to answer to it again during his Mets tenure.
He did not want to miss two games, but he is not angry. He doesn’t view this as anyone’s fault. It was for the best.
“I wasn’t concerned, I was more frustrated on my end,” Nimmo said. “But I understood. The heart’s a different thing, so you want to check all the boxes on that.”
The Canó balance
Robinson Canó smiled, then chuckled when a reporter raised a theoretical scenario in which the Mets asked him if he would be open to playing only 125-130 games.
"Honestly, no," Canó said.
He continued: "For a guy that loves to play this game, loves to play baseball, loves to be out on the field, I think you don’t want to have that mindset. Once you go through the season, you go play every day, depends how you feel, I think I’d rather go by that and see how I feel."
Canó would rather tell the coaches he needs a day off than have a set number of games. There are a few reasons why?
“What happens if I feel good and I’m doing good and it’s like, ‘Oh, you have to sit today’?" Canó said. "Then later on, you get on a slump or whatever it is. I’d rather see how I feel."
So, that is how the Mets will do it.
“We’re going to have plans day to day," Rojas said. "We’re not going to put a number, we’re not going to set a number of games that he’s going to play.”
In his first game of the spring, Canó went 0-for-1 with a walk as the designated hitter. The plan is for him to be the DH again on Sunday before playing second base on Tuesday following the team's off-day on Monday.
Canó said this spring feels different because of how he fared last season. He could not remain healthy — perhaps because of some bad luck — and missed extended time.
Over the offseason, he worked on strengthening his legs. He continues to do so. He's not performing any different exercises, but more just doing extra work.
He is now 37. He is not invincible. It seems he is coming to grips with that, though his competitive mentality remains.
“Your body is always going to tell you how you feel," Canó said. "I never want to get into the situation where my body says, ‘You know what? You got to rest.’ That’s why I always learned from the best when I came up and saw all the things they did. Why they lasted so long in this game, why they played so good at an old age, how they keep themselves in the game. I think when you start that early in your career, it makes things easier."
As always, Stroman confident
Marcus Stroman, who started on Friday against St. Louis, continues to feel optimistic about what lies ahead.
“I’ve always been very confident,” he said. “It’s something my dad taught me to be, it’s how I’ll always continue to be. It’s not something you can kind of wash away. It’s stuck. Regardless of anything, my confidence remains.
"No matter what I’m going through, I feel like I’m the man out there.”
Paul Goldschmidt took Stroman deep in the first inning, but the righty settled down. In two innings, he allowed two hits and tallied a strikeout. In Stroman’s first outing of this spring, also against the Cardinals, he surrendered a solo home run.
Overall, he feels well.
“Biggest thing is always health in spring training, just doing everything you can to prepare your body to go out there,” Stroman said. “I’m on my five-day routine now, so I feel great. Arm feels great, body feels good.”
Stroman aims to throw 200-plus innings. That, to him, signifies a pitcher going deep into games and helping his team.
He likes his chances at reaching that mark because of how he worked and prepared over the offseason.
“It’s hard — anyone will tell you — to get your body and mind to the point where you feel good every single day,” he said. “That was kind of my point in the offseason and I started pretty much the second that we ended the season.”