The clock is about to start for Carlos Beltran, who has been running the bases in extended spring training games. The next step is minor league rehab games, and GM Omar Minaya said today that will be Thursday in Port St. Lucie.
Once the rehab games begin Beltran has a 20-day window to return to the Mets. That would be after the All-Star break. If the window expires and Beltran isn’t ready, the Mets would need his permission to stay in the minors.
As of now, both Beltran and the Mets see the player as a center fielder, which would mean a platoon role for Angel Pagan.
The club also announced John Maine will seek a second opinion on his shoulder. Based on his contractual status the Mets don’t need Maine’s permission to go to the minor leagues.
Jerry Manuel is saying John Maine might need another rehab start after Friday night, which probably isn’t a bad idea considering he was clocked at 88 mph. in his last outing.
When Maine comes back he would most likely come back as a starter because Manuel fears his shoulder might not be able to handle the up-and-down nature of the bullpen.
Several years ago the Mets once toyed with the idea of moving Maine to the bullpen but resisted.
Word is Carlos Beltran is running with a limp, which still delays the timetable on his return.
Once Beltran moves from extended spring training games to a minor league rehab assignment the clock will start and the Mets would have 20 days to activate him.
NOTES: Luis Castillo is taking ground balls in Port St. Lucie and might be activated for the Yankees series at the Stadium this weekend. … With the Mets facing righthanded pitching until Sunday look for Chris Carter to remain as the DH.
Sometimes, I wish Jerry Manuel came with a mute button. Or at least a filter. Considering all that Carlos Beltran has gone through, to think he’d even consider activating him now for these games as a designated hitter is absurd.
BELTRAN: Not ready yet.
Just because he’s playing extended spring training games doesn’t mean he’s even close to being ready, even as a DH. I can understand him thinking it would be nice, but to suggest it out loud is just ridiculous. It’s like when he suggested Jose Reyes hitting third.
Doesn’t he think these things through before saying them?
Beltran doesn’t go full speed in these games, even if he’s playing in the outfield. I’m even concerned about the outfield in these games if he’s not able to go full speed.
The Mets botched this with Beltran from the outset, and to think otherwise is being naive. If the Mets are lucky, they’ll have Beltran back in August. And, that’s after an extended time in Buffalo.