Tomas Nido is taking his new role and running with it.
The Mets catcher, who has taken over the bulk of starting duties behind the plate recently from James McCann, continued to deliver with the bat as he crushed a game-winning, two-run home run in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Rockies at Citi Field.
“I can’t say I’m surprised because I know the hard work I put in to take advantage of whatever opportunity I get to get out on the field,” Nido said. “I’m prepared for whatever they throw at me. I prepared to be ready no matter what.”
Nido came to the plate in the sixth inning of a 1-1 game, with one out and Dominic Smith on first. He had left the bases loaded in his previous at-bat but didn’t miss his second chance to break the tie, pouncing on a slider from Chi Chi Gonzalez and depositing it just over the wall in left field.
It marked the third time in the last week that Nido has come through with a go-ahead hit. He also recorded a game-winning homer in the ninth inning last Tuesday against the Braves, then had a pinch-hit, go-ahead, two-run single the next day.
Nido has now started four of the past five games at catcher and eight of the past 12. With the Mets losing Pete Alonso to the injured list, they have found a way to get McCann back in the lineup as well, shifting him to first base for the first two starts of his career there Monday and Tuesday.
With the increased playing time, Nido has come alive at the plate. In 13 games in May, Nido is now batting 12-for-40 (.300) with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs.
“His confidence is high,” manager Luis Rojas said. “He doesn’t want to do too much to probably earn the right to play the next day.”
Rojas said he spoke to Nido last week about getting more playing time, which has led to him being calmer with his approach at the plate. Rojas was noncommittal about what his plan would look like with Nido and McCann once Alonso returns, but said both are in good places.
“I always knew I could hit,” Nido said. “There’s a couple things I tweaked on my swing and it’s still a work in progress. … [But] I know what I’m capable of and I just gotta be confident in myself and be ready for whatever opportunity I get.”