Newly promoted Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis will platoon with veteran Scott Hairston says Mike Mazzeo of ESPN via twitter. Hairston will start against left handed pitching while Nieuwenhuis will be penciled in against the righties while Andres Torres recovers from his strained calf that he re-injured in the 7th inning of the Mets Opening Day game Thursday.
That creates a short term schedule of Kirk today, Monday and Wednesday, and Hairston filling in Sunday and Tuesday. A pretty even platoon for now, but of course Kirk will get the majority of the time since he’ll face the more-abundant right handed pitching.
This was a smart move by Collins giving Hairston the lefties. He not only has a .815 OPS in his career against southpaws, but also takes some of the pressure off Captain Kirk. Not only mentally, but physically as he is fresh off a season-ending shoulder injury in 2011 and an oblique strain in Spring Training.
Nieuwenhuis will wear number 9 and will bat 8th in today’s matinee against Jair Jurrjens and the Braves.