It might seem to Mets fans that Nick Plummer has come out of nowhere, but his special moment has been in the works for a long time.
The lefty-hitting Plummer, who homered Sunday and Monday in his first two major league starts, was a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2015 out of Brother Rice High School in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He became one of St. Louis’ top prospects, but missed all of the 2016 season with a wrist injury that required surgery, then sat out part of the following season with an oblique issue.
Playing Single-A ball in 2018 and 2019, he showed impressive plate discipline and tallied a ton of walks, but his bat lagged behind and he hit .205 and .177 in those two seasons.
In 2020, with no minor league season and no alternate site to go to, he didn’t get any reps.
“Being an 18-year-old kid coming out and being able to pursue my dream right out the gate, it’s a blessing and just more so thankful for the highs and the lows,” Plummer, now 25, said Tuesday. “There’s a lot of mental stuff that goes into this game. So that was the biggest thing, just staying in it, staying in the fight.”
Plummer was not in the starting lineup against Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin, but he came in for defense in the seventh inning of the Mets’ 10-0 win and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance.
When the faded prospect returned to play for the Cardinals organization in 2021, he had tweaked his swing to bring the barrel of the bat into the zone as early as possible. He sailed through Double-A ball and was promoted to Triple-A: Across 117 total games, he hit .280, walked 73 times for a .415 on-base percentage, drilled 15 home runs and stole 13 bases.
“I think in my mind, I was definitely due. Just put [all] the things together,” Plummer said. “I think when you go in, day in, day out, to better yourself, something’s got to give. Last year it was really cool for that to happen.”
He never got the call-up, though, and hit minor league free agency hoping a major league deal awaited him. The Mets, seeking outfield depth and surely impressed by his on-base skillsand tools, pounced in November.
“Once I got to talk to the personnel there once I did hit free agency, it was really good character trading,” said Plummer, who is 4-for-9 in his short major league career and figures to see more at-bats now that Dominic Smith has been optioned to Triple-A. “I think they were high on me early, and I was high on them early.”
Brandon Nimmo, who sprained his right wrist Friday, has “improved,” manager Buck Showalter said, though the outfielder was out of the starting lineup for a fourth straight game. Nimmo entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, with Showalter saying he wanted him to get back into the flow of the game.
Mickey Callaway, the former manager of the Mets who was suspended by MLB for the 2022 season after allegations of sexual harassment against female media members surfaced, has been fired by Mexican League team Acereros de Monclova.
The club’s decision, which it attributed to poor results, came just 33 games into Callaway’s tenure, with the team at 16-17.
Right-hander Adonis Medina, who was called up when Smith was sent down, was drilled in the thigh in the ninth inning on a comebacker from Yadiel Hernandez. After a few warm-up tosses, he finished the game.
“We’ll see how he feels [Wednesday],” Showalter said. “He got hit pretty on-point there.”
Mark Canha, who might play some first base after Smith’s demotion, moved from center field to first in the ninth inning.
“It’s been a while,” said Canha, who has started one game at first since 2020. “I can play over there, I can be over there. I’m not going to be as good as Pete [Alonso], but it’s a good tool to have in our back pocket.”
Showalter said Tylor Megill “looked good” in a live batting practice session. The Mets used a couple of hitters from High-A Brooklyn to face Megill, who is rehabbing from biceps tendinitis and was expected to throw three innings.
Showalter said the Mets would wait to see how Megill feels Wednesday before deciding upon the next step.
Megill is expected to make a start or two in the minors before returning to the Mets.
Francisco Lindor was named the NL Player of the Week after hitting .348 with two home runs, two triples, two doubles and 14 RBIs across six games.