The Mets have designated outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment, ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports on Twitter. That move seemed likely after the team announced that it would bring up fellow outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from Triple-A, necessitating a roster spot.
Nieuwenhuis, 27, has struggled badly in limited action thus far in 2015. The left-handed-hitting outfielder owns a .079/.125/.132 line over forty trips to the plate, racking up 17 strikeouts and just two walks. Notably, his flyball percentage has nearly doubled over his career rates, helping to drive a .143 BABIP.
It was readily apparent heading into the year that Nieuwenhuis would not have an everyday job, as the Mets’ outfield is firmly committed to Michael Cuddyer, Juan Lagares, and Curtis Granderson. But after slashing a strong .259/.346/.482 last year, he seemed a good bet to hold a job as a fourth outfielder. In spite of his troubles, Nieuwenhuis could appeal to other clubs who view him as a bounce-back candidate, particularly since he offers some pop and has experience in center.
Ceciliani, 24, was a fourth round pick in 2009. He has risen steadily through the minors and is in the midst of a big campaign for Las Vegas. Over 126 plate appearances, Ceciliani owns a .336/.381/.584 slash with five long balls and six stolen bases. Though his .384 BABIP surely has something to do with that batting line, Ceciliani has obviously shown enough good contact to warrant his first shot at big league action.