As the New York Mets prepare to get ready for Opening Day, it looks as if their star -- and hopefully fully healed -- right fielder, Carlos Beltran, will be making the trip to Miami when the Metropolitans take on the Florida Marlins on Friday night.
New York's spring training game today was rained out but the team did announce that Beltran plans to take the field tomorrow against the Washington Nationals -- in a major league game. Pointed out by the various Mets beat writers, this basically assures that the 33-year-old will be on the Opening Day 25-man roster because the Mets cannot backdate his disabled list stint, something GM Sandy Alderson had discussed previously.
Just yesterday, I revealed my doubts that Beltran would make the team, but his hastened recovery over the past few weeks has changed everything, culminated with this announcement. Beltran will obviously require more "maintenance" days this season, but his determination (and hard work) to play from day one of the regular season has Alderson believing.
"Carlos said he's feeling good and he's ready to go," Alderson said as quoted by the New York Daily News' Andy Martino. "At some point you've got to move forward. I do think it's valuable for him to play in major league [spring-training] games. That would be an advantage over the last couple of days. It does present a risk. Look, at some point you've got to roll the dice."
Beltran has played in just one Grapfruit League game (three at-bats) and has battled some recurring knee woes throughout the spring in his recovery from knee surgery. He played five innings in right field Saturday and Sunday in minor league games.
Either way, Collins is excited to finally write Beltran's name into the lineup:
"I just want to get him in the lineup right now," Collins said. "It will be a work-in-progress, probably, a little bit."