Beltran Scratched, Is He Worse Than The Mets Are Letting On?

An article by posted on March 8, 2011

UPDATE: Carlos Beltran was scratched from simulated game according to Adam Rubin.

Original Post:

I’m a little worried to say the least about what the facts are regarding the health of Carlos Beltran’s knee. I’m starting to wonder if we are being told the whole story or only parts of it, the “good soreness” parts. To be honest, I’m starting to feel a lot like I did when Omar was running things, and that can’t be good.

Beltran was expected to DH yesterday, but was scratched because of soreness in his knee. That’s fine – I can live with that, but then it came out that both Collins and Beltran had different sides to the story. Carlos said it was Collin’s decision, and the manager said it was Beltran’s. Adam Rubin explains,

Collins said he will leave it to Carlos Beltran to decide whether he wants to DH in Tuesday’s home split-squad game. After going 1-for-3 Sunday in his first Grapefruit League action, Beltran was not in Monday’s lineup because he felt what was described as “normal soreness.”

“He just said, ‘Hey, look, I felt great yesterday. I want to work on some things in the cage. Is it OK if I don’t DH today?’” Collins said. “I said, ‘Absolutely.’ … We certainly have some time to get him ready.”

Beltran portrayed it as a management decision, not his call to sit out Monday.

“They decided to give me a day off,” he said. “Hopefully tomorrow I’m in there. I told them I feel sore, but in a good way. If I left the ballpark feeling good, I’m not expecting to wake up feeling different.”

I don’t want to make a big issue of this, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it eerily reminded me of the whole surgery fiasco from 13 months ago. (BTW, it’s been 13 months since the surgery and he came back last July, so what happened with the knee that we weren’t told? Why is he in re-hab mode again?)

Putting that aside, both parties made it seem like just a precautionary measure and a case of not rushing Beltran back too hastily. Again, I could live with that decision.

But this morning, it’s been reported that Beltran will not DH in today’s game again. Huh? How come? Why? Now I’m worried. If something has worsened or if Beltran is in pain, I think it needs to be accurately reported.

Beltran is far too important to our season. We need to understand exactly what is going on and please spare us the niceties and give it to us straight with all the gory details.

Another concern was this report that appeared on MetsBlog this morning. Newsday’s David Lennon recently said of Beltran’s knee:

“Carlos Beltran’s knee is not getting better, it’s only getting worse. I am pretty certain he will need micro-fracture surgery at some point. He understands that the only way to play with that knee right now is to manage it. … All you can do with an arthritic knee, every once in a while as scar tissue builds up, is to have surgery to clean it out. The problem is, pretty soon there is no cartilage in the knee, and the cartilage is what cushions the knee, it’s what prevents bone on bone rubbing together.”

Look, at this point all I care about is this season. I want to see a healthy Beltran go out there and give us the kind of season we all know he is capable of. It is vital to our chances in 2011.

I don’t like all this funny business that is going on right now. I don’t like that miscommunication about who said what regarding the day off yesterday, and I want to know the definition of “a good soreness”? What the hell does that mean exactly? Soreness of any kind sucks, believe me I know.

Apparently Beltran can still swing a bat and may take 7-10 swings in a simulated game with no running. No running why? What happened to the good soreness? Did it become a bad soreness?

Also, I think it’s time we examine another issue and it’s something that has bothered me most of the offseason.

I did not like the signings of both Scott Hairston (.210) and Willie Harris (.183 BA). I could deal with one of them, but not both.

I wanted Lucas Duda to be on the 25 man roster. He had a tremendous campaign last season in the minors leading the league in slugging. Last September, he looked like the best player on the field for the Mets and exploded after a rough start. He is having an exceptional spring thus far and actually he hit the game winning homer on Sunday to beat the Red Sox.

If Beltran is going to start the season with one day on and three days off, I don’t want to see Hairston and Harris getting the lions share of the at-bats because quite frankly they sucked last year.

They are far removed from their best years and both had terrible numbers offensively.

If Beltran can only play two games per week, than Duda should play the other four games not Harris and Hairston. I want to see the saber crowd come out on this because they keep talking about OBP, please explain why two players with sub .299 OBPs deserve to get more than 50 at-bats next season.

I remember reading from Ted Berg not too long ago how badly Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel sucked last season because they gave too many at-bats to sub .300 OBP players. I agree.

So with that in mind, who do you want to see getting the 300-350 at-bats that will come from backing up Carlos Beltran in rightfield this season; Hairston, Harris or Duda?

I hope Beltran is okay. I hope we don’t get a surprise press conference in the next few days that will cast a dark shadow on the season where Beltran’s knee is concerned.

But I also want to play this out like a chess game, and look ahead, just in case the worst case scenario does happen.

In my chess game, Lucas Duda must be in rightfield over Hairston and Harris when Beltran can’t take the field.

Any other move and it could be checkmate for the Mets.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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