For the second straight day in Pittsburgh, Andres Torres was not at in the lineup against the Pirates. What looked to be just a regular day off on Tuesday night with Mike Baxter assuming the role as lead-off man, turned into a little more when Terry Collins decided to give his center fielder one more day to get his head straight.
According to Collins, the decision to sit Torres for the second time in as many days happened because he needs a little more time while he “works on some things.” He’s got plenty of work to do, as he fallen into a huge slump since coming out hot after his early season stint on the disabled list. In his first 10 games upon his return, it seemed as if he was getting on base every night, and compiled a .333
batting average to go along with his .429 on-base percentage.
Since that hot streak, Torres has only been able to squeak out one hit in his last 34 at-bats, dating back to May 12th. Couple that with the current hot streak Mike Baxter has been enjoying (5-13, 3 XBH in last 3 starts), and it was the perfect time for Collins to give his player a breather to be able to rest and refocus. Baxter has been off the charts as a pinch hitter thus far in 2012, but as he continues to pile on productive at-bat after productive at-bat, the question is starting to rise as to whether he will keep seeing consistent playing time. With his lineup and bullpen in fragile positions on a daily basis, Collins said that he’s going to stay with the hot hand, where ever that may be coming from.
Will Torres return to being the starting center fielder when the Mets take the field tomorrow night against the Padres? We shall see. Captain Kirk’s production has slowed a bit, but he’s still hitting at a good clip, and while Baxter is hot, Jason Bay‘s return is right around the corner. As much as Terry wants to keep the hot bats in the lineup, he will have some tough decisions to make as we keep moving towards the beginning of June.