Beltran Plays Center, Scheduled for Late July Return

Today the NY Post reported that Carlos Beltran played 3 innings in center field for Port St. Lucie.  He was responsible for 2 put-outs and went 3 for 5 at the plate with 2 singles, a home run, and a walk. 

This is a significant indicator on the proximity of Carlos’ return to the Mets.  Earlier, Omar Minaya commented that Carlos would require 4-6 weeks once he started participating in rehab games (which has not yet taken place).  However, I believe the 4-6 week estimate is extremely conservative and in my opinion, I believe a full come-back would  most likely come the week after the All-Star break which if we started our counting at the this upcoming week, would be 5 weeks. 

The fact that Beltran felt comfortable enough to go out there and play in the field says a lot about his progress, and possibly his desire to get back as soon as possible to help this team.  I certainly am not suggesting that Beltran be rushed back just because the Mets are playing good baseball and currently sit only a few games back of the Braves, but Beltran’s history and character would suggest that he is doing everything he can to get back to full-strength to help his teammates. 

Key details that we should pay attention to are:

1) How Carlos feels after playing these 3 innings in center field.  Does his knee fell fine the day after or is it sore, or swollen.

2) How soon will Carlos/Mets increase his work load?  Will he play in St. Lucie’s next game?  Will he play in the field in their next game?  Will he increase the number of innings from 3 to …?

I am hoping that tomorrow Beltran will wake up with his knee feeling right as rain and he will be ready to push his knee a little further.

Outlook = Very Optimistic!  Perhaps his hitter’s eye is not that far off as many of us had expected it to be.