According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, a Mets official said Jordany Valdespin is likely competing with Kirk Nieuwenhuis for a roster spot this spring.
Valdespin is hitting .370 with three home runs and six RBI in 27 at-bats so far this spring – he went 1-for-2 with a home run in today’s 11-0 win over the Tigers.
“A lot things are going to happen in the next three weeks, but what you saw today is exactly what he can do,” Terry Collins said, according to Rubin. “He can create big runs, fast runs by hitting the ball out of the ballpark. … We’re going to try him in the outfield a little bit to try to get him more comfortable out there in case that’s where we have to put him.”
Meanwhile, Nieuwenhuis is 1-for-18 this spring and has not played since last Sunday when he sustained a bone bruise in his knee. He is expected to resume baseball activities on Wednesday.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:I’m not surprised by this. In fact, yesterday I wrote I didn’t think Nieuwenhuis was a lock to make the team out of camp. Between performances from Valdespin, Matt den Dekker, Collin Cowgill, and Marlon Byrd, Nieuwenhuis could very well find himself on the outside looking in, with the knee injury making matters worse for him. Nieuwenhuis’ fate could also be determined by what Lucas Duda does between now and the end of camp as well. No matter what, Nienwenhuis needs to get back on the field, and start executing in a hurry.
As for Valdespin, he is hitting and hitting for power, and he has shown he can effectively play all three outfield positions as well as second base. At a minimum, Valdespin provides some versatility this roster generally lacks, and that certainly adds value. There are still three weeks left before Opening Day, and so a lot can happen between now and then; I’d like to see how Valdespin fares against left-handed pitching during that time.