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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Collins tells Kirk he's not forgotten

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins made a point Tuesday to tell Kirk Nieuwenhuis that he is not an afterthought, even though the additions of Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Eric Young Jr. since the middle of last season and the ascent of Juan Lagares have diminished the importance of Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker.

Nieuwenhuis, 26, hit .189 with three homers and 14 RBIs and struck out 32 times in 95 at-bats with the Mets last season. He was passed over for a September call-up.

Said Collins about Tuesday's conversation with Nieuwenhuis: "I said, 'Listen, there's a lot of talk about Curtis. And there's a lot of talk about Chris and Lagares.' I said, 'Two years ago the talk was about you, and you fought some injuries -- some bad injuries.' You know, he hurt his shoulder very bad. Then he had the foot issue. I said, 'Listen, you can still play. There's a job here for Kirk Nieuwenhuis, but you've got to go and show us you're the player that we all know you can be.'"