The Mets' new right fielder met with manager Terry Collins yesterday morning to discuss the road he needs to take in order to be fully ready to go when the game's actually matter. Beltran has just three at-bats this spring.
"We're down to eight days," Alderson said yesterday as quoted by ESPN NY's Adam Rubin. "It's important now to say, ‘OK, here are the eight days. How are we going to use them in order to be ready to go on Opening Day?' So that was laid out. And obviously we have to be flexible. It will depend day-to-day on whether that schedule gets moved back. But I do think it's fair to say at this point there's not a lot of wiggle room in that schedule between now and Opening Day if he's going to be on the active roster."
Despite saying "As of this point he's still on track for Opening Day," Alderson did acknowledge that backdating a DL stint at the start of the season could be in the cards for Beltran if his return-to-action plan doesn't manifest as quickly as hoped.
So a day after the grand plan was revealed, what was the 33-year-old's day like on Thursday?
Beltran participated in a simulated game with J.P Riccardi's son acting as a cutoff man, Collins pitching and Mets VP of Media Relations Jay Horwitz as the pinch runner, according to various reports. The most important aspect of Thursday's workouts was Beltran running and testing his knee with many of the
"I just wanted to come here today and test it -- kind of like simulating a game," Beltran said as quoted by Adam Rubin. "Actually, this is more than what we do in a game. I just wanted to test the knee. Hopefully tomorrow I recuperate, feeling good."
Best news for Mets fans: "That's 100 percent right there. I mean, I'm not going to get faster than that," Beltran said.
Even more comforting news is that Beltran is expected to play in a minor league game on Saturday -- if his knee holds up from know until then.