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Kirk Nieuwenhuis continues to produce steadily for the New York Mets.
Holding down the No. 2 spot for another week is Kirk Nieuwenhuis. He's been a steady, reliable performer for New York Mets manager Terry Collins, who knows he can count on Nieuwenhuis to knock a hit or two and get on base from the leadoff or second spot in the batting order.
Collins surely appreciated his rookie outfielder even more as his veteran center fielder, Andres Torres, fights through a 1-for-33 slump. That put Torres on the bench for Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and perhaps gave the rookie from tiny NAIA Azusa Pacific University another chance to show he should be the Mets' starter in center field.
As the New York Times' Andrew Keh reports, however, Collins prefers Torres' defense and baserunning speed. But if Torres can't get on base and doesn't start hitting, while Nieuwenhuis keeps hitting regularly, the manager will eventually have to make a change.
If that were to happen, there could be a debate as to whether Torres lost his job or Nieuwenhuis won it. But any time a rookie can supplant a veteran, it's worth noting. We're still talking hypothetically here, of course.
But without Nieuwenhuis' contributions so far this season, where would the Mets offense be? Collins probably doesn't even want to think about that.