NEW YORK — The Mets have cut reserve outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, making room on the roster for hot-hitting minor leaguer Darrell Ceciliani.
New York selected Ceciliani's contract from Triple-A Las Vegas Tuesday before playing the St. Louis Cardinals and designated Nieuwenhuis for assignment.
Nieuwenhuis made the Mets with a strong spring training, hitting .322 (19 for 59), but he struggled this season in a backup role. The left-handed-hitting 27-year-old was 3 for 38 (.079) with no homers and two RBIs. Out of minor league options, he must pass through waivers before the Mets could send him to Las Vegas.
"He never got into a rhythm at all. It's a real tough job," manager Terry Collins said of the pinch-hitting role. "It's not an easy decision to do it but we felt we had to to get some production out of that spot."
Ceciliani was hitting .336 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 37 games at Las Vegas. He'll provide another lefty bat off the bench along with No. 3 catcher Johnny Monell.
Also, closer Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) pitched 1 1-3 innings in an extended spring game at Port St. Lucie. He allowed four hits, three runs — two earned — and Struck out two. He did not walk a batter.
"Certainly the velocity is not where we would like it to be," Collins said. "I think the biggest issue is his command is not where we would want it to be."
General manager Sandy Alderson said Parnell likely will make his next appearance in St. Lucie.
Vic Black (herniated neck disk) worked an inning at St. Lucie, striking out two and getting a groundball out after entering with the bases loaded.