Kirk Nieuwenhuis To Start In Center, Ruben Tejada To Bat Leadoff

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 02: Kirk Nieuwenhuis #72 of the New York Mets poses for photos during MLB photo day on March 2, 2012 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Kirk Nieuwenhuis will make his big league debut with the Mets on Saturday against the Braves, playing center field and probably batting eighth. He'll be taking the roster spot vacated by Andres Torres, who strained his left calf during Thursday's Opening Day win. Nieuwenhuis hit .298/.403/.505 in 53 games with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons last season before tearing the labrum in his left shoulder and spending the rest of the season in infirmity on the minor league disabled list.

Meanwhile, Ruben Tejada will bat leadoff for the Mets in Torres's absence, presumably because he's small and scrappy? I don't quite know what to expect from Tejada, who had an impressive .360 on-base percentage last year, drawing 36 walks and getting hit by six pitches. The walk rate is encouraging for a 21-year-old who's still adjusting to major league pitching; the hit batsmen continue a trend of above-average plunking propensity he established as a minor leaguer. He doesn't hit for any power, but he's a little guy and a young'un so that could certainly improve as he ages. At all events, a shortstop with good defense and good on-base skills making the league minimum salary can be a pretty useful player. As much as I instinctually want to scoff at this move, batting Tejada leadoff makes plenty of sense.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker