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Ideas to Offset Beltran’s Injury & Decline



By Mike Silva ~ January 14th, 2010. Filed under: New York Mets.

I will reserve judgment on the Mets until we hear more about the events that led to Carlos Beltran having knee surgery. Filing a public grievance may be the Mets right, but it won’t help with their credibility in the locker room. My guess is both Beltran and the team should have elected for surgery last year, and didn’t, for whatever reason.

This turn of events makes it necessary to acquire another bat before opening day. With Beltran the Mets lineup might have been a bat short, without him there is an increased amount of focus put on Daniel Murphy. If Jason Bay gave the Mets a “punchers chance” to returning to the 799 run offense of 2008, the loss of Beltran offsets that by a great deal. I haven’t even mentioned his impact on defense, which was one of the reasons I was less concerned with Jason Bay lack of defensive prowess in left.

The good news is that Beltran should be back in early May. The fact remains that his knee will not get better. Osteoarthritis is chronic, and actually ended the career of former Knicks forward Charles Smith. Still don’t think the team should trade him a year too early, instead of a year too late? If the team is lucky they will squeeze whatever productivity is left in the last two years of his contract. The days of 150 plus games are probably over for Carlos, and the corner outfield might be calling.

First, can Beltran play right field on occasion? What about putting Francoeur in center and Beltran in right on occasion to rest his knee? Francoeur has played two games in his career in center, and I believe has the arm and range to be adequate at the position. The shame of the Beltran injury is that we probably will not see the same gold glove caliber defense and range that everyone has come to expect.

Next is the curious case of Angel Pagan. The talent is there, but the baseball intellect is a mystery. Regardless, he is the Mets starting centerfielder as of today. During a brief stint as a starting player Pagan put up an OPS of .837. He is also plays above average defense. This could be his big opportunity to prove he deserves to play everyday, and create a mini controversy about the lineup. If Pagan is productive how will you find him playing time upon Beltran’s return? That is a good problem to have.

Finally, the obvious need for another bat. They could bring in another outfielder like Xavier Nady, Reed Johnson, or Rick Ankiel. Of course, what would you do with Angel Pagan? Nady makes the most sense out of that group since he can play first base as well. Another option is bringing in Orlando Hudson, regulating Luis Castillo to the bench, and beefing up your offense and defense up the middle. The final, and most realistic option, is signing Carlos Delgado or another first baseman to improve the power and production there. Daniel Murphy works hard, but I just don’t know if he can hit enough to justify him at first base. Adam LaRoche was an option I mentioned earlier in the week, and might be a safer bet than Delgado. Could you honestly trust another creaky ballplayer when there are questions about your starting centerfielder? I personally would go the route of signing LaRoche to a one year deal. The team should seriously consider the Hudson options as well.

The Beltran injury official rings the bell for 2010. A team has to overcome adversity if they are to be successful. This is the first obstacle, of many, the Mets will face. I would seriously consider signing LaRoche and Hudson. It may cost more money, but beefing up those positions might create enough of a fallback if Carlos Beltran becomes less than what is expected upon return.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Ideas to Offset Beltran’s Injury & Decline

  1. R U Kidding

    A little late, but better late than never! What makes you think Beltran missing 20 games will make Omar get replacements for Castillo and Murphy? In addition to money I think the Mets honestly feel mthat Hudson and Laroche aren’t much of an upgrade(I disagree!). the only good that might come out of it is that they see injured aging players often get injured again and they pass on Delgado (unlikely).

  2. Jeff

    This may be a little out there, but…has Orlando Hudson ever played the outfield? If he can, you could rotate him, Castillo and Pagan and get a little better in some areas…..

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