Pitchers and catchers have not even reported to Port St. Lucie yet; however, the Mets are already down a player: Carlos Beltran.
Articles on Mets.com and ESPN.com both cite Beltran as having had a worsening of osteoarthritis of the right knee during the offseason. Carlos had surgery today on his right knee, performed by his personal physician, Dr. Richard Steadman, and is expected to resume baseball activities in 12 weeks.
Now the question to all Mets fans is: What will the team do now, suffering a major loss before even setting foot on the diamond this spring?
Personally, although Beltran is a major part of the offense, I fully believe that having Angel Pagan man center field for roughly the first month of the season will not end the 2010 season for the Mets before it begins.
If Mets fans believe the Mets can make a run at a wild card spot this season (which I certainly do), then it would be better to have Beltran come back fresh in early to mid-May than to have him play through pain and risk losing him down the stretch.
With a lineup that will now likely look something like Reyes, Castillo, Bay, Wright, Francoeur, Molina (obviously he is not yet signed, but rumors around the Internet have Molina and the Mets being in serious discussions), Murphy, and Pagan, this is still a lineup that could and should produce.
To then know that a healthy Beltran would be plugged into the middle of that lineup relatively early on in the season is certainly a thought comforting to Mets fans.
I would advise my fellow Mets fans not to get into panic mode just yet; now is the time to have all the surgery and other preparations to get ready for the season.
While Beltran will be missed in the lineup for the first month of the season, having him in the long run will be well worth it.
Let us all hope that this is the worst news we hear out of the medical staff this season. (Knock on wood.)
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