I thought it was funny that after I wrote how Nieuwenhuis’ second home run on Tuesday would have been gone in any MLB park, that Terry Collins asked Wally Backman about Kirk’s home runs and said the following to reporters before last night’s game.
“I talked to Wally today for quite a while,” Collins said. “He said they were legitimate. He didn’t care where he was playing, they were homers.”
Backman also told Collins that Nieuwenhuis is swinging the bat a lot better, has become more aggressive with two strikes, and that he’s really come along very well.
Collins also echoed my earlier sentiments that Nieuwenhuis has put himself back on the Mets radar for a potential return to the Mets outfield. When asked about it he responded, “he sure is.”
Original Post 6/4
Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been scorching the desert with his red-hot bat in the last two weeks, and his assault on baseballs continued today with two more home runs in the Las Vegas 51s 6-5 win over the Fresno Grizzlies.
Nieuwenhuis, 25, didn’t take his demotion to Triple-A very well and struggled mightily at the plate. But since mid-May, he has been crushing the ball whenever he makes contact and is starting to build a case for a second chance to join the Mets this season.
In his last twelve games, Kirk has walloped seven home runs and raised his average from a season low of .188 to .241 in that span.
Captain Kirk batted leadoff today and immediately got his team on the board with a solo home run off former Met Boof Bonzer to give Vegas the early 1-0 lead.
The Grizzlies came back to take a 5-3 lead heading into the the top of the 8th, but a Brandon Hicks home run pulled the 51s within one run.
Then after Jamie Hoffmann walked, Nieuwenhuis launched a tremendous two-run blast over the right field fence to give his team the 6-5 lead and seal the victory. It was the 10th home run of the season for the center fielder and this one would of been gone in any park. Nieuwenhuis has now raised his on-base plus slugging to a much more respectable .802 for the season.
(Photo Credit: Las Vegas 51s)