NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran is scheduled to play Tuesday in his first major league spring training game since March 6, which eliminates the possibility of the club backdating time on the disabled list.
That would have allowed Beltran to miss just three games of the regular season, but the Mets believe he can be ready for Opening Day Friday as he recovers from left knee tendinitis.
“Carlos said he’s feeling good and he’s ready to go,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “At some point you’ve got to move forward. I do think it’s valuable for him to play in major league games. That would be an advantage over the last couple of days. It does present a risk. Look, at some point you’ve got to roll the dice. Given his firmness about how he feels and the fact that he’s ready to go, I think we’ve decided that this is probably the best thing for us.”
The 33-year-old Beltran developed tendinitis while overcompensating for the right knee that needed surgery in January 2010. He was shut down for more than a week after his first spring training game but resumed baseball activities March 17 and had a cortisone shot two days later.
Since then, Beltran has played in five minor league games but just began playing right field Saturday.
Manager Terry Collins said being able to backdate 10 days into spring training was in the forefront of the discussions surrounding Beltran all along because the team had to protect itself.
“We have a good club and we need him in the lineup,” Collins said.
The Mets’ spring training game against the Marlins was canceled Monday.
Collins said Beltran would be given more rest in the beginning of the season as he settled into his new role in right field.
“I just want to get him in the lineup right now. It will be a work-in-progress, probably, a little bit,” Collins said. “I think the more comfortable he gets in right field, obviously the better he’ll play. I think the more at-bats he gets, the more confidence he has. He says he feels great at the plate, he’s seeing the ball good.”
Cold weather once the team leaves Florida could be a concern early on because of the potential effect on his arthritic knees.
Catcher Ronny Paulino was undergoing a diagnostic procedure Monday morning in relation to the abnormality that came up in his blood work, and the club expected to know more later in the day.
Will Beltran be available on Opening Day for the Mets? Make your prediction in the comments below…
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