Of course, it crossed my mind. Left field in Houston is a tough place to play, perhaps one of the toughest in the National League. So, when Jed Lowrie’s pop up fell between Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada, it immediately raised the inevitable speculation the Mets’ newest left fielder felt awkward because it was his first time in left on this level.
As a centerfielder, Nieuwenhuis played aggressively, but on this play he appeared tentative.
“It was just a ‘tweener’ ball that I should have caught,” Nieuwenhuis said. “It dropped, and that’s unfortunate. (R.A. Dickey) was pitching a great game and I just made a mistake.”
Neither Nieuwenhuis nor manager Terry Collins blamed the mistake on the former playing a new position, but it’s on the table. There is always an adjustment period in playing a different position.
Nieuwenhuis stayed in the leadoff spot and delivered a game-tying, two-run single, but his offensive night was mixed because he was also picked off first base.
Before the game, I questioned the decision to move Kirk,
Torres is a veteran with some left field experience. He should be the one to go to left field. Why disrupt Nieuwenhuis’ rookie season? Why make him go through another adjustment period? He’s part of the Mets’ future, while Torres is a stop gap player at best.
What has Torres done for the Mets to warrant such special treatment?
We don’t know how good Nieuwenhuis can be, but we already have an idea of what the Mets can expect from Torres, and it isn’t much. It might be different if Neiuwenhuis were playing poorly and the Mets weren’t winning, but that isn’t the case.
I’ll say it again, leave Nieuwenhuis alone.