Mets designate Abreu, recall Nieuwenhuis

Mets designate Abreu, recall Nieuwenhuis

NEW YORK -- Bobby Abreu may not be ready to retire, but the 40-year-old's unexpected run with the Mets has come to an end.

The Mets designated Abreu for assignment after Monday's 4-3 loss to the Giants, recalling outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas. Signing with the team as a Minor League free agent earlier this season, Abreu was initially successful, but finished his tenure in an 0-for-13 funk at the plate. Appearing mostly late in games off the bench, Abreu batted .065 as a pinch-hitter.

"It's not that easy coming off the bench, especially when you're used to playing every day," Abreu said.

Regardless, Abreu said he cherished his experience with the Mets after sitting out all of last season, unable to find a job. A veteran of 18 seasons and six big league teams, Abreu is a career .291 hitter with a .395 on-base percentage. He wants to continue playing if possible, and did not rule out joining Triple-A Las Vegas.

At the least, he will participate in Winter Ball in his native Venezuela, hoping someday to become a big league hitting coach.

"I had a good time with the Mets," Abreu said. "I just want to say, 'Thanks for the opportunities.' All I have to do is just wait, see what's going to happen and then after that, make a decision."

Nieuwenhuis, 26, will join the Mets on Tuesday for his fourth big league stint of the season. His respectable production at Vegas -- a .512 slugging percentage with 11 home runs in 57 games -- has not yet translated to the Majors, but Nieuwenhuis should receive plenty of opportunities as the Mets continue their search for an everyday left fielder. Chris Young and Eric Young Jr. have most recently manned that position for the Mets, with subpar results.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.