Carlos Beltran: Please Show Yourself In 2010, Your Team Needs You
The Mets have played six games and have been far from inspiring. Home runs aside, the offense has lacked when it has mattered most, and that needs to change, desperately.
For the time being, the offensive struggles are taking a back seat (as they should) to the starting rotation and the instability of each pitcher, including Johan Santana.
Last weekend we heard that Beltran was not in pain but is not ready to run yet, with no timetable of the delay so when he will be ready is an unknown at this time.
Jerry Manuel is a big believer in "holding down the fort until the big guys return" and to their credit, in 2009 both David Wright (concussion) and Carlos Beltran (knee bruise) returned to play meaningless baseball in September.
Wright had only missed 15 games but Beltran had been out since mid-June, so other than the last 20 or so games at the end of the season, he has not played full time for the better part of a year.
Carlos Beltran's absence in 2010 has been felt strongly because of the struggles of Gary Matthews Jr and the heart of the lineup in clutch situations.
The team's RISP numbers have been an embarrassment. Jason Bay, David Wright, and Jeff Francoeur are looked to right now to be the offensive weapons, at least until Beltran returns, if he does at all.
Besides their spots in the lineup, Bay and Francoeur are also sharing the outfield with centerfielders who would not be playing every day under normal circumstances.
Angel Pagan has seen limited playing time, with Jerry Manuel's vote of confidence going to Matthews, much to the fan's frustration.
Now that Jose Reyes is back in the lineup, the center fielder should be hitting further down in the order and Pagan would be more valuable at the top because of his speed.
Its not that they are not getting hits or taking walks, or even that they are not taking the extra base, it's that they are not getting the timely hits.
When Beltran had his much publicized knee surgery in January, there was speculation on how much time he would miss; most authorities had him ready by mid-May.
This was on the condition that he started running in early April, which would indicate that his baseball activities were in full swing and it would take approximately six weeks for him to return to the lineup.
While I am in no way advocating Beltran rush back only to need to miss more playing time, I do think that his baseball activity schedule should be stepped up a notch so he can return as quickly as possible.
If the Mets do not turn this first half around and start hitting when it matters, look for major changes by mid-season, from the top management down to the players.
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