Updated: Mets promote Lagares, send Nieuwenhuis to Triple-A

Juan Lagares 1 polaroidThe Mets announced they have recalled OF Juan Lagares from Triple-A Las Vegas.

4:30 pm: “There are people in organization who think he may be a better center fielder than Matt den Dekker,” Terry Collins told reporters today.

Collins expects Lagares to be in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

According to Collins, the outfield remains a competition and total team effort, as guys play out of position and do whatever is needed to help the team win.

3:15 pm: Lagares will wear No. 12, which was previously worn by Scott Hairston.

2:15 pm: To make room for Lagares on the active roster, the Mets optioned OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis to Triple-A Las Vegas. Lagares was already on the 40-man roster.

The 24-year-old Lagares was hitting .346 with three home runs and nine RBI in 78 at-bats over 17 games with the Las Vegas 51s this season.

He hit .286 with four home runs and 48 RBI with 37 walks and 93 strikeouts in 499 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton in 2012.

For Michael Baron's and Andrew Vazzano's thoughts on Lagares and Nieuwenhuis, click here...

Michael Baron, Contributor

Updated from 7:30 am: Interesting. Lagares is another right-handed option for the roster and, considering they’re facing three left-handers in their series against Los Angeles, Lagares could be tested early at the big league level. Lagares has performed well at Las Vegas this season. He has hit for some power (not surprising, considering he was in the Pacific Coast League), and he’s a guy with speed and good range in the outfield.

As for Nieuwenhuis, I’m not surprised the Mets sent him down. He has 17 plate appearances this season, is just 2-for-16 with eight strikeouts, and primarily served as a defensive replacement for Jordany Valdespin and Lucas Duda. He needs to go down to Vegas, get regular at-bats, and continue to work on cutting down his strikeouts and shortening his swing.

Andrew Vazzano, SNY.tv

There’s a logjam in the outfield. You can’t sit Lucas Duda. Jordany Valdespin has been very good this year. And Marlon Byrd has been solid enough, but needs to be spelled occasionally, I guess… Maybe Largares starts in RF? If not, then there’s Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill, and Nieuwenhuis/Lagares (assuming that’s the move). I get you need a late-inning defensive specialist, but Baxter serves that role. Cowgill and Nieuwenhuis/Lagares just aren’t getting enough at bats if they’re not starting to justify themselves on the roster. Too many outfielders for my taste.