From Adam Rubin
The Mets demoted Kirk Nieuwenhuis to Triple-A Buffalo after Sunday’s 5-1 win against the Diamondbacks to clear a roster spot for the return of Mike Baxter from the disabled list for the series opener in San Francisco. Baxter had been sidelined since suffering a separated shoulder on a June 1 catch that preserved Johan Santana’s no-hit bid.
Nieuwenhuis, who had joined the Mets right after Andres Torres suffered a calf strain on Opening Day, was hitting .252 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 282 at-bats. He had a team-high 98 strikeouts. Nieuwenhuis was only 9-for-his-last-73.
His demotion comes five days after Lucas Duda also was dispatched to the Bisons.
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens noted teams have exploited Nieuwenhuis by putting breaking balls in the dirt, then throwing high fastballs above the strike zone that Nieuwenhuis was prone to chase.