Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, fielded some questions in his mailbag piece this morning. I thought his reply to a question about Kirk Nieuwenhuis was worth sharing.
Will the Mets give Kirk Nieuwenhuis another chance at center field, or do you think they will pick up some reject from another team?
Now that Andres Torres is back with the Giants and Anthony Gose was not included in the Dickey trade, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that anyone supplants Nieuwenhuis as the default starter in center.
The Mets are still in the hunt for a right-handed hitting outfielder, so if they sign one with center-field experience — Scott Hairston, for example — they could establish a platoon between him and Nieuwenhuis. But that would also require Lucas Duda to win the everyday job in left field, without needing a platoon partner himself.
The Mets have never envisioned Nieuwenhuis as much more than a center field stopgap, holding down the position until Matt den Dekker, Brandon Nimmo and some of the organization’s other up-the-middle talents are ready to contribute. But right now, that’s exactly what they need, so Nieuwenhuis may very well be roaming center come Opening Day.
The Mets have many players with something to prove in 2013. K-New is certainly on the top of that list. He will get a full shot to show he belongs, but his performance in the first two months of the season will dictate whether or not he’s a full time centerfielder or better suited in a reserve role.