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Mets To Call Up Kirk Nieuwenhuis To Play Center Field

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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)
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)
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Until now, the most difficult last names to memorize were Mientkiewicz and Kannengieser.

According to Adam Rubin, the Mets are planning to call up Kirk Nieuwenhuis to play center field since Andres Torres re-injured his calf during the team's Opening Day game. Now in his age-24 season, Captain Kirk played a little under half a season last year with Buffalo but raked at the plate. His .298/.403/.505 line would have earned him at least a cup of coffee if he hadn't undergone season-ending surgery.

Nieuwenhuis made his professional debut in 2008 with the Brooklyn Cyclones but didn't do anything particularly great. As he moved up the levels of the Mets' farm system, he improved in 2009 and took a small step back in 2010. Last year was a breakout compared to anything he had done in years past.

While the Mets would have preferred to keep Nieuwenhuis in the minors for a while, they didn't have many other options to replace Torres. Nieuwenhuis will probably go right back to Buffalo when Torres is ready to return, but he could make the decision difficult if he shows he can hit in his time with the Mets.