As someone who has undergone two knee surgeries in my lifetime, I understand Carlos Beltran’s pain. I’ve tried to come back too soon and not felt 100%, and it isn’t a good or natural feeling. The pain still lingers and ultimately there is doubt and caution in the mind of the athlete.
I’ve experienced knee and shoulder tendonitis as well. It downright sucks and the only thing that can be done right now is rest. Therefore, Carlos will sit out at least the next 5 games, but I think it may extend further. I’ve always contested that Carlos is a tough player who tries to play through so many nagging injuries, and I still believe it now. However, despite him wanting to play, the Mets must think about backup options for right field. Without further ado, here are some guys (in no particular order) who will now get more attention this spring:
1. Lucas Duda – The Duda would be a favorite to get consistent at bats if Beltran were to hit the DL. The only problem is that his defense would be severely exposed in right field. Think Adam Dunn. Not too graceful in spacious right field. However, his power potential could compensate for that.
2. Fernando Martinez – Can he stay healthy? Who knows. He should really spend more time in AAA proving he can stay healthy and mash the minor league pitching before he gets another shot in the show.
3. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Should definitely stay in AAA. If Fernando isn’t ready, either is Kirk, who only had a cup of coffee in Buffalo–and didn’t fair well.
4. Nick Evans – Could get some playing time in right, but honestly isn’t a competent enough outfielder to play there everyday.
5. Willie Harris/Scott Hairston – This is the most likely combination if Beltran is merely out for a short period of time. They could make decent bench options but their offense would be severely exposed if given enough playing time.