New York Mets: Andres Torres Back in Center, Forcing Kirk Nieuwenhuis Left

Daniel BudickCorrespondent IApril 30, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 29:  Kirk Nieuwenhuis #9 of the New York Mets takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-5 in 11 innings.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

After reinjuring his calf on Opening Day, Andres Torres was replaced by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who stepped in and has done a terrific job in center field for the New York Mets.

Ever since becoming a regular, Nieuwenhuis has thrived, hitting .316 and proving himself notorious for coming up with the big hit. That's not to mention how superb his defensive range is, tracking down balls in the gap and making circus-like catches. Nieuwenhuis has supplied an energy to Citi Field that the Mets have desperately needed.

Flash forward to tonight, as the Mets open up a three-game set in Houston. Torres is activated and back on the roster. This left Mets manager Terry Collins with a interesting decision to make.

"We are going to shuffle things up in our lineup once Andres comes back, try to find a good fit for everyone," Terry said in the postgame after the Mets' thrilling 6-5, 11-inning win on Sunday in Colorado.  

Torres' first game back in center moved Nieuwenhuis to left. Regardless of this shift, Nieuwenhuis will stay in the leadoff role that he has fit nicely into over the last 10 days or so. Defensively, the Mets are losing a little bit with Torres in center. With Torres' spring play, it is evident he is not the smoothest of fielders.

During the play on which he got injured on Opening Day, he took a horrible angle on a line drive and reaggravated his calf in an attempt to recover. Despite Torres being the regular center fielder when the Mets left Port St. Lucie, Nieuwenhuis has been the regular since the second day of the season. He took advantage of an opportunity, and deserves to be the Mets' everyday center fielder.