Daric Barton isn’t sufficiently recovered from September shoulder surgery, so he’ll begin the season on the disabled list while the A’s go with Brandon Allen and Kila Ka’aihue at first base.
Barton was once firmly established as Oakland’s long-term first baseman and had an underrated, All-Star caliber season in 2010 with a .393 on-base percentage and league-leading 110 walks, but he hit just .212 in 67 games last season before going under the knife and is now a big question mark.
Manager Bob Melvin told Jane Lee of MLB.com that Barton needs to build up his arm strength and prove that he can play multiple games in a row before coming off the disabled list is an option, but backdating the stint to their trip to Japan means he’s eligible to return as soon as Sunday.
The Mets opened up a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field on Monday night, the last leg of their 10-game road trip. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who grew up in nearby Wyoming, got his first start in Colorado, so he bought about 75 tickets for friends and family for the series, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.
Batting leadoff, Nimmo fittingly led off the game by hitting an inside-the-park home run, drilling an 0-2 cutter from Tyler Anderson to right-center field. The ball didn’t take the carom that right fielder Carlos Gonzalez expected, so Nimmo circled the bases easily to complete his 11th home run of the season.
The 25-year-old Nimmo has proven to be a spark plug for the underachieving Mets. Entering play Monday, he was batting .274/.402/.565 in 204 plate appearances. Nimmo hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, helping the Mets overcome the Diamondbacks.