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Terry Collins told reporters he intends to bat Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the leadoff spot in the team's Grapefruit League opener on Saturday.

Collins said he believes Nieuwenhuis deserves the opportunity to show what he can do from the leadoff spot first.

In 133 plate appearances in the leadoff spot last season, Nieuwenhuis hit .264 with a .308 OBP, seven doubles, one triple, five home runs and 15 RBI with six walks and 39 strikeouts.

He hit .222 with a .276 OBP when leading off a game and .278 with a .337 OBP when leading off an inning.

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