When Mets players arrived at the field on Friday morning, staffers intercepted them for testing as they left their cars, according to manager Buck Showalter. Most tested negative and were allowed to play. The exceptions were Nimmo and Canha, two members of the Mets’ regular starting lineup. They landed on the COVID-19 IL, which is reserved for players who either test positive, show symptoms of COVID-19 or have been identified as close contacts of someone with the virus.
In addition to Nimmo and Canha, bench coach Glenn Sherlock was not with the Mets for their home opener.
“We’ll make the adjustment and kind of leave it at that,” Showalter said. “Spring Training, it’s why you prepare for these things. We’re in a good spot — not as good as we would have been, but we’ve taken the necessary steps to cover us.”
A vaccinated player on the COVID-19 IL must receive clearance from Major League Baseball’s Joint COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee to be reinstated. That can happen as soon as the player is no longer deemed infectious. Unvaccinated players cannot return until they submit two negative PCR tests.
Neither Nimmo nor Canha has stated publicly if he is vaccinated.
“It’ll be a day-to-day thing where we continue testing,” Showalter said.
To replace Nimmo and Canha on the roster, the Mets called up outfielder Nick Plummer and infielder Matt Reynolds, who had been at Triple-A Syracuse. Showalter indicated that the Mets found out about their potential COVID-19 issue on Thursday night and made arrangements at that time. With Nimmo and Canha absent, Showalter used Jeff McNeil in left field and Travis Jankowski in center for the home opener.
Plummer, an offseason signing who is the Mets’ eighth-ranked prospect, spent the first week of the season on taxi squad and has yet to play a game. Reynolds, a former Mets second-round Draft pick who played for the team from 2016-17, rejoined the club this winter on a Minor League deal.