Before the Mets' game this evening, Terry Collins told reporters that Kirk Nieuwenhuis was hospitalized with an undisclosed infection. The 27-year-old outfielder is expected to stay in the hospital overnight.
In 130 plate appearances this year, Nieuwenhuis hit a respectable .259/.346/.482, a line good for a 130 wRC+ on the season. Those numbers far exceed what he hit in his time with the Mets in 2012 and 2013. While he continued to strike out a ton and draw walks at a decent rate, the biggest difference was Nieuwenhuis's power. He managed a .223 isolated slugging (slugging percent minus batting average) despite hitting just three home runs.
Looking ahead to next year, Nieuwenhuis figures to have a shot at making the Mets' roster, whether they acquire an everyday corner outfielder to complement Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson or not. With left field and shortstop the team's biggest holes this season, it seems that any money the Mets might actually be able to spend on acquiring players would be allocated to one of those two positions.
But for now, here's hoping Nieuwenhuis has a full and speedy recovery and gets well soon.