Kirk, Hudge huddle to work on hitting

June, 27, 2012
6/27/12
12:34
PM ET
CHICAGO -- Terry Collins said he gave Kirk Nieuwenhuis an atypical day off against a right-handed starter Wednesday at Wrigley Field because the rookie is struggling at the plate and needs time to work in the cage with hitting coach Dave Hudgens. Collins said Nieuwenhuis' head is turning away from the baseball as he swings instead of being locked in on the target.

Andres Torres instead starts in center field.

Nieuwwenhuis is hitting .115 (3-for-26) in his past nine games.

"He's really struggling," Collins said. "I try to make sure that we don't get some of these young players in a deep pit where they all of a sudden start questioning whether they belong here or not. I just want him to work with Dave a little bit and get this thing fixed, because we need him. When he's playing, when he's swinging the bat like he can, it's a huge part of our team.

"The other day, the Yankee game, he hit a big home run for us. But we've got to get it fixed. When he looked at some video this morning, he's just not seeing the ball. And when you don't see it, it's tough to hit it."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .284
HRL. Duda 16
RBIL. Duda 51
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .850
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112