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Converted pitcher Adam Loewen could make Mets as center fielder

Mar 12, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT

New York Mets Photo Day Getty Images

Scott Hairston‘s oblique strain leaves the Mets in need of a backup center fielder behind starter Andres Torres and converted pitcher Adam Loewen has a legitimate chance to claim the gig.

Loewen was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2002 draft and started 29 games in the majors for the Orioles by age 24, but gave up pitching in 2009 following injuries and ineffectiveness.

He spent last season at Triple-A in the Blue Jays’ system, hitting .306 with 17 homers and an .884 OPS in 134 games. Impressive raw numbers, although Las Vegas is an extremely hitter-friendly environment and his 136/61 K/BB ratio wasn’t as encouraging.

Oh, and he’s played just 18 career games in center field, so even if Loewen can hit in the majors the jury is still very much out on whether he can field the position adequately. Of course, his primary competition is Mike Baxter and he’s a career-long infielder with just 43 games in center field.

All of which means the Mets are really counting on Torres to stay healthy after missing 50 games last season.

  1. proudlycanadian - Mar 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    I wish him well. Arm issues did in his pitching career and he had to work hard to try to reinvent himself as a hitter. If he had remained with the Jays, he would have been buried on the depth chart. It was mutually agreed that his best opportunity to make the majors as a hitter would be with another team.

    • cur68 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      Kid’s got a screw in his elbow holding the bone together. His pitch motion was so violent he broke his own arm. Got it repaired, re-invented himself as a hitter/fielder and did reasonably well with the Beaver Men last season. I’d have liked to keep him in Cauckistaan ’cause the All Beaver Wrestling Squad needs more Canucks, but he wouldn’t have got the playing time he needed to develop further. The Mets seem like a good fit, actually. I echo PC’s statement and wish him well, also. He could wind up being in the Hall of Pretty Good.

  2. Old Gator - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    He looks like he’s checking out the heft of his hollowed out bat head before corking it and resealing it with one of Mi…heh, I mean, Giancarlo Stanton’s concave pink nipples.

  3. bobulated - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Now they just need to make a deal for Ankiel too.

  4. mets79 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Scott Hairston, Andres Torres, Adam Loewen….I just threw up in my mouth

    • Old Gator - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Look at it this way – how different is it from having Carlos Beltran on the DL?

  5. foreverchipper10 - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    If he sticks, and I hope he does, I wonder if he will have a cannon ala Rick Ankiel and destroy anyone who tries to take the extra base.

    • cur68 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      IF he can field it cleanly, the word is YES, he’s got a cannon throw (having watched him do just that last year in Toronto). Mind you, the ones that bounce out of his glove are pretty memorable too.

  6. gammagammahey - Mar 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    They may only be counting on Torres to stay healthy until Kirk Nieuwenheis gets enough time at AAA to merit promotion to the big team. That is, if HE can stay healthy.

  7. avietar - Mar 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Why is an article about Adam Loewen accompanied by a photo of Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey swinging a bat?

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