HOUSTON -- Rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis remained in the leadoff spot of the Mets' batting order on Monday, but with the return of center fielder Andres Torres, did move to left field. Nieuwenhuis said he doesn't hold any expectations of remaining at the top of the batting order. "That's tonight," he said before going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 4-3 loss. "I don't know about next week. That's just for tonight, we'll see."
Collins said his decision to keep Nieuwenhuis (.316, two homers, eight RBIs) at the top of the order was an easy one. "Forty-five hits in three games," Collins said, of a recent tear that included three hits on Sunday, Nieuwenhuis' third three-hit day this season. His move to left field was equally a no-brainer. "We looked up a lot of numbers, Andres Torres is a pretty good center fielder," Collins said. "Kirk played the corners in Spring Training. He hasn't during the season, but he's athletic enough, he can play out there." Nieuwenhuis said he feels prepared for the move. "BP helps," he said. "But it is a big difference, the spin of the ball off the bat. The visuals, it's different. But BP helps a lot."