It hate to say this, but it might be time to consider that Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran might not come back at all or at the very least, he might not come back soon enough to contribute.
I say this after Andy Martino of the NY Daily News was able to confirm that instead of gaining clearance to start baseball activities last week, as the initial plan was, Beltran was fitted with a knee brace.
Now, I bought into the line that April 10th was a soft date for when he was expected to resume baseball activities, but last week was disturbing.
It is now the end of April and he seems to be taking a step backwards with the knee brace thing. Typically you don’t get fitted for braces right before you are ready to start running.
This makes me feel like it could be another month, at the earliest, before Beltran is even ready to start his rehab.
Considering it would take at least another four-to-six weeks from that point for Beltran to get back on a ball field this puts him at a mid-July return and that is being generous.
Realistically, you have to entertain the thought that another surgery might be possible since this thing seems to be getting worse, not better. If that were to happen, his season would surely be knocked out entirely which could knock the Mets season out entirely.
When Beltran finally went on the DL last season the Mets were actually above .500 with a 34-33 record. After that the Mets were an atrocious 36-59. Obviously there were other contributing factors, but Beltran is clearly an important part of this lineup.
The point of this article is not to knock fans down, as they are riding high after a 9-1 home-stand, but to point out how important Beltran is and if they cannot count on him returning this season maybe they shouldn’t simply stand pat as far as the offense is concerned.
Angel Pagan has done a solid job, but let’s be honest here, the guy has a career .761 OPS and that number has dropped to a pedestrian .616 this year.
He is a solid backup, but he should not be an everyday starter. What the Mets need here is to make a trade, although now might not be the time. The Mets should probably wait out another month and see where things are.
This next month will tell a lot. Right now the Mets are in first place and winning. In a month from now a few things are possible. They could continue winning or they could drop down in the standings.
The outcome of that scenario might help them handle the outcome of the next, how far along will Beltran be in a month?
If he is right where he is now they probably should make a move regardless of their record, but if he is progressing they can stand to wait, even if they are losing.
So I’m officially giving it another month. If in the next month ,Beltran doesn’t improve, then I’m calling for a trade. At that point the Mets would need to start worrying about their offense if they are going to compete for a playoff spot this season.