Mike Baxter Assumes Leadoff Spot As Torres Gets Much-Needed Night Off
NEW YORK (WFAN) – Center fielder Andres Torres will get the night off on Tuesday night in the Mets’ contest against the Pirates, and no, Kirk Nieuwenhuis won’t take his place at the top spot of the order.
Nieuwenhuis will play center field and hit second, but the leadoff hitter will be … wait for it … Mike Baxter!
The Queens native will lead off for the first time since doing so in 2010 with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate. Although he made a costly mistake in left field in the eighth inning on Monday night — which ultimately led to the Pirates’ go-ahead run and a devastating loss for the Mets — Baxter has been stellar for the Amazins’ this season. Not only has be been more than capable with the glove, but he’s excelled as a pinch-hitter while producing an incomprehensible .390 batting average with seven doubles and eight RBIs in 41 at-bats.
Torres, on the other hand, is mired in a dreadful slump as of late. The 34-year-old has just one hit in his last 29 at-bats after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Monday night.
On the season, Torres — who the Mets acquired from the Giants for Angel Pagan in the offseason — is batting .189 with a homer and 10 RBIs in 74 at-bats.
In light of his recent production, should Mike Baxter be playing every day for New York? Offer your thoughts and comments in the section below…