PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Centerfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis appeared to lose his chance at a roster spot when a bone bruise in his left knee sidelined him for three critical weeks in spring training. But manager Terry Collins hinted after last night's 6-2 win over the Astros that Nieuwenhuis might be given a chance to make a late run.
"Well, I'm going to play him again tomorrow," Collins said. "We need to keep getting him some at-bats. Again, when we're trying to put these final names together, he's a defender, that's for sure."
Nieuwenhuis finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout, plunging his average to .069. Nevertheless, he may position himself to make the roster, perhaps ahead of utilityman Omar Quintanilla.