Some New York Mets fans bemoaned the return of Andres Torres from his stint on the disabled list as it seemingly spelled the end of the Kirk Nieuwenhuis show in centerfield. The call for Captain Kirk to continue manning the ship in center was more a testament to his performance in the weeks leading up to Torres’ return than it was an indictment of what the 34-year-old had to offer his new club. Still, winning over the Citi Field faithful would prove no easy task for the former San Francisco Giant centerfielder as there can be only one starter and Nieuwenhuis, a homegrown talent with plenty of flash, was getting the fan vote.
Torres, however, has risen to the challenge since taking to the field on April 30 against Houston. The switch hitter has collected at least one hit in every contest since his return, a streak which has now reached six games (tying a career best). Sure, it’s not the 20-game streak Angel Pagan is putting up in San Francisco, but after hitting safely in 6 of 7 games as a Met and putting up a .333 avg, fans have little to complain about.
In addition, Andres is now batting a team-leading .833 with runners in scoring position (5 for 6 in such situations) and while this is just a small sample size Torres has proven over the past few seasons that he can excel with men on base (.274 avg vs. .239 avg with nobody on) and in scoring position (.284 avg).
Basically, this kind of hot start is exactly what Torres needed to help convince fans that he too can help this team moving forward and should not be viewed as a piece that needed to be fended off, but rather a part that can fit right in. The 7-year veteran outfielder has played left field, right field, and center throughout his career and with injuries running wild in Queens his versatility is more than welcome, as is his timely hitting at the plate.
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