Terry Collins has made a decision regarding Carlos Beltran and his playing time come the start of the spring training games. Many have begun to question the center fielder’s ability to play the position he was destined to play. To protect his premier outfielder, Collins has decided to err on the side of caution and have Beltran play the role of the designated hitter until around March 10th.
Well, the Mets manager wants to be careful with Beltran’s surgically repaired knee and ease him into playing baseball again.
Once again I have to ask the question: Why? Beltran played for two and half months last year. He has been training all winter long. If Collins is so worried, why not just get him prepared to make a transition to right field which some believe would extend Beltran’s career? If there are indeed questions about his knee, Beltran should not be in center field. At least not at Citi Field where it is like an abyss.
In 2010, Beltran hit .255, his second worse year since 2000 with the Kansas City Royals when he batted a .247. I understand if the Mets wanted Beltran to get into hitting again. Last year, with that average, was definitely not one of his finer moments. Personally, I think he can use whatever hitting chances he is given.
According to the Daily News, the Mets center fielder is currently involved in a running program to test his knee. Where was this running program all winter long? Did he just start the program?
I am not worried about Beltran’s defense. How can you question the defense of a guy with three Gold Gloves, all with the Mets and their abyss of an outfield? This guy covers an amazing amount of ground. Yet, if there are questions about his knee, you have to move him to right field and give Angel Pagan center. I just worry that he will only have two and half weeks to prepare for a position he might have to play and has not played since 2000 with the Royals. FYI, he played right field for only three games. If he is going to be transitioned to right field, he needs to start preparing now for it.
So to answer the above question:
Beltran is both questionable for center field and being cautious.