General manager Omar Minaya gave us a projection early this month that Carlos Beltran would be back around late May, which was four to six weeks after resuming baseball activities.
Well, that time frame is right now and Beltran hasn’t even begun running. Based on what’s going on, we might be looking now at June if not July and the All-Star break.
Fact is, Beltran, if he hasn’t started running, doesn’t have any real timetable. They can say four to six weeks from baseball activities all night, but they have no idea when that will be.
Would it surprise you if we didn’t see Beltran to the second half of the season if at all? Wouldn’t shock me.
Part of the fallout of Beltran’s absence is the issue of Jose Reyes batting third.
Here’s what Jeff Francoeur has to say about it: “I don’t want to see that. Not at all. He’s the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the game, and I want to see him there. Who knows what we’ll do? But I’m just saying, he’s never been really a run producer. He’s been more of a guy to score 150 runs. … I’m just saying, I think he’s the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the league… Reyes has always hit leadoff to me for a reason. He’s the best. He gets on base, steals, makes things happen.’’
Jerry Manuel says he wants Reyes to maintain his same approach in the three hole. It will never happen because the demands and job description batting third differ from batting first. Reyes gets into trouble when he plays outside himself and attempts to loft the ball instead of hitting it on the ground and line drives into the gap.
You will see a definite change in Reyes’ approach if they go ahead with this.
The No. 3 hitter should be the team’s best hitter, which is to say the best combination of average and power, and that’s David Wright.
There is nobody who comes close to being able to do what Reyes does as the leadoff hitter. For years we’ve been hearing how Reyes is the catalyst to the Mets offense. Why would they want to tinker with that?