It's been rumored the past few days that the Mets would have to put Carlos Beltran on the disabled list to start the season, but nothing has been made official. Wednesday, Beltran worked out and spoke with the media.
The 33-year-old outfielder's workout consisted of playing catch and taking 75 cuts from the right side. Beltran is a switch-hitter, but he's not swinging from the left side yet, as that would aggravate his still-recovering left knee. He's also been moved to right field from center for this season in attempt to both get on the field sooner and keep him as healthy as possible.
Thursday, Beltran is expected to again play catch and take some swings, this time upping the number of reps.
He did say he was hoping to be ready for opening day and is "improving."
"The pain is about 50 percent less than it was a week ago. ... I mean, it's not going to be 100 percent now because tendinitis doesn't get cured in a week. It's going to get better. I need to continue to strengthen the quads and work and try to make the leg feel better." (ESPN New York )
Being a national leaguer, the chances for the start of the season still seem bleak. If he could DH and just hit righty, that's one thing. Having to play in the outfield is quite another. A more realistic expectation for Beltran is probably mid-April.
As for the other injured star on the Mets, Johan Santana threw for the second consecutive day -- always a big test when coming off a major arm injury. From the sounds of things, the lefty was in good spirits, saying he felt "like a million bucks" and toying with the media a bit. (ESPN New York )
Santana, 32, is coming off surgery on his throwing shoulder. He made 29 starts last season, going 11-9 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 199 innings. His strikeout rate has tailed off in recent years, but his malign has been a bit much considering the other results. His ERA as a Met (2.85) is slightly better than it was in his four years as a full-time starter for the Twins (2.89) -- a period in which he won two Cy Youngs. There's every reason to believe once he's back fully healthy the Mets again have a bona fide ace.
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