Terry Collins on Friday told reporters that it’s up to Carlos Beltran whether or not he will play center field this year for the Mets. Collins said to reporters that if Beltran decides to stay in center then Beltran is going to have to earn his spot. Beltran who has yet to arrive to camp has a decision to make and hopefully it will be the right one for himself and the Mets.
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Carlos Beltran. I know most of you disagree with me on my views on him and that’s great. That’s what makes writing for sites like MMO fun to do. Beltran 3-4 years ago was one of the best centerfielders to play the game, even I admit that. However, that was then and this is now. Beltran has been suffering from knee injuries for the last two seasons and opted right before Spring Training last year to have surgery on his knee. Beltran will always have arthritis in that knee and you could see last year his knee problems were hurting his performance in the outfield. As the season went on he did get better.
Now keep in mind Citi Field has a very spacious center field. It cannot be good for someone with arthritis to be patroling that spacious field for about 65-75 games. What is best for the team is Beltran eventually showing up to camp, doing the right thing and giving the position to Angel Pagan. There is nothing wrong with admitting that age and injury has caught up to you and you’re not as good as you used to be. Pagan looks up to Beltran, he admires him, I think it would be better if Beltran gives the position to Pagan instead of Angel beating out one of his heroes.
It would also be best for Beltran himself if he moved to right. We all know that Beltran is in his walk year and I’m sure he’s hoping to get a nice size deal with another team next year. I know centerfielders make more money than rightfielders but in the long run Beltran could be helping himself. If the grind of patroling center is too much, he could get hurt or at the very least look bad, hurting his value on the free agent market next year. There have been some who have said that Beltran is one serious knee injury away from having microfracture surgery. That would pretty much end his career and I’m sure Beltran does not want that.
I’ve accused Beltran of being selfish and not caring about the team, putting himself and his pride first. I stand by that. Beltran can prove me wrong by helping himself and the team out by just agreeing to move to right field.