Kirk Nieuwenhuis Called Up

Well that didn’t take long … Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been beamed up from Buffalo to take over the roster spot vacated by non-vulcan Andres Torres.

Terry Collins has suggested that Nieuwenhuis will be used in a platoon situation, which makes zero sense to me.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Matt April 7, 2012 at 11:30 am
    I think the platoon is just to protect the guy – he’s young, he’s been injured. Terry Collins usually plays it smart – he probably just doesn’t want to overwhelm him. And why not give Scott Hairston some playing time, and have a good left-handed bat come off the bench? I think if Kirk performs, he’ll be in there everyday. As long he stays healthy, I say Torres moves to the background.
  2. jerseymet April 7, 2012 at 11:54 am
    This is a great test for Kirk. If he can hit MLB pitiching he is here to stay. Collins is a master of player development. I trust his judgment. His faith in and nurturing of Duda was a brilliant success. The current Mets are the players that he oversaw developmet of.
    On platooning…brilliant. Center field now. Left field when Torres comes back fully healthy. Baxter is the man on the bubble.
  3. Steven April 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    I like the move. Sometimes you just have to throw the child in the lake and see if he swims. This is not exactly 19 year old prospect, at most this has speeded up his debut by three months.
  4. Matt April 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm
    Re: Duda – credit where credit’s due, Jerry Manuel (shiver) was a believer early on.
    • jerseymet April 8, 2012 at 10:44 am
      No doubt Jerry recongnized talent. He wanted his best players on the field…all the time. Wright and Reyes never got a day off. Perpetual Pedro. Mejia rushe to the bullpen. Sure Duda was another horse to ride.

      Terrry developed these kids.

    • Joe Janish April 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm
      Jerry Manuel also was very high on Jonathan Malo. Just sayin’
  5. Dametsman from Washington State April 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    Platooning, especially in this situation is sage. No matter what, the left swinger (Nieuwenhuis) will get 70% of the at-bats in the long haul. And why not allow Hairston to get sharp. He is an effective batter with pop from the right side and an OK outfielder. Capt. Kirk can also spell Scott for defense late in games.

    Unfortunately, and due to the high salary structures, platooning has lost its status as a legitimate managerial tool. A quick look at the best teams in Mets history reveals some very effective platoons. In the 1969 championship season, there were four—Kranepool/Clendenon, Boswell/Weis, Garrett/Charles, Shamsky/Swoboda, (and to a lesser, but still effective, extent—Grote/Martin). Gil Hodges was a huge proponent of platooning and used it extremely effectively throughout his managerial career. In 1973, Yogi Berra was forced to platoon players in less than classic fashion due to a rash of injuries and poor performances. Berra learned how to platoon and shuffle from Casey Stengel, who never played a game without his “man” (Yogi). Berra often played LF, RF, 3B and 1B when he wasn’t behind the dish. In 1986, Davey Johnson effectively platooned Backman/Teufel and Dykstra/Wilson. More effective platoons were implemented by Bobby Valentine in the outfield in those well-managed 1998-2000 teams. Fact is, in all of those winning Mets teams, there were substantial lineup deficits mitigated by platooning. Instituting a platoon in CF or LF will not make the Mets worse. If anything, it will make them better and more versatile.

  6. Midwestern Met April 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm
    I think Kirk will get a majority of the at-bats. He had a solid showing today for sure. Plus he’s tall & Dutch and can take back a few home runs out in center.
  7. DaveSchneck April 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm
    So long as the Captain shows he can handle the load, he should be the starter. Maybe play Hairston against a real tough lefty. Collins may feel compelled to play Hariston against lefties since Murph, Ike, and the Dude are more likely to play, and they need some righty bats.
  8. Joe Janish April 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm
    Bah! Platooning breeds platoon players. Let the kid learn how to hit lefties, I say. The game is full of overpriced specialists, mainly because GMs and managers automatically assume that lefties can’t hit lefties and righties can’t hit righties. I’d rather see the kid fail miserably against lefties, and not be able to make an adjustment, before putting him into a platoon situation. But, that’s me.
    • Dan April 8, 2012 at 8:55 am
      Ultimately I agree, but an initial platoon makes sense if there is a better hitter vs LH pitching available to play center until he gets his feet wet.
  9. Dan B April 8, 2012 at 9:02 am
    Wow, I always assumed that at some point Andres Torres would lose his starting role. I just didn’t have Game #1 as the over/under point. I agree, let Kirk play until he fails. The real question is who do we think we be starting centerfielder by Aug 1st? It would be great if it is Kirk.
    • jerseymet April 8, 2012 at 10:39 am
      Torres, if healthy, is there for his defense. He will play this year. Alderson needs to establish a platoon for Bay or the Mets will be stuck with Bay’s option in 2014. Bay will be the right handed bat of the bench in 2013.