The New York Mets will be adding a bat sometime within the next three weeks to four weeks. The team announced that center fielder Carlos Beltran will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow (Thursday) with Class-A St. Lucie.
Assuming there are no setbacks, Beltran would return to the Mets no later than July 15, the first game after the All-Star break.
Beltran has been playing in extended spring games since last month. General manager Omar Minaya traveled to Port St. Lucie earlier this week to watch Beltran play. After speaking with the center fielder and his rehab staff, it was determined his star player was ready for minor league games.
The Mets have said that when Beltran returns to the team he will play center field.
Angel Pagan has taken over the position while Beltran has been out, and Pagan is putting together a very fine season. The Mets need Pagan in the lineup.
But can they do that when Beltran comes back?
Pagan's versatility may actually go against him in this situation. Because of Pagan's ability to play all three outfield positions, the Mets will likely use him in a fourth outfielder role.
It will be tough, however, to take a .304 hitter out of the everyday lineup. Pagan also has 14 doubles, five triples, and four home runs this season while driving in 35 runs.
Pagan has batted in many spots throughout the Mets' lineup, but lately he has been a fixture in the No. 2 hole.
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