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The Beltran Options Don’t Cut It



By Mike Silva ~ March 8th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

It appears that even the most optimistic prognostication would have Carlos Beltran playing around 100 to 120 games. Right now, I would suspect he will need to miss about a third of the games due to his injured knee.

We knew going into this season that Beltran was a risk. Last year, right field was predominantly patrolled by the inconsistent Jeff Francoeur, with Angel Pagan starting 29 games there later in the season. Combined Mets right fielders hit .238 with 15 homers, 80 RBI, and OBP of .298. Could the Mets cobble together a better return from the combination of Beltran, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Nick Evans and perhaps Fernando Martinez?

I normally don’t like to project how part time players equal a greater whole (think Karim Garcia/Shane Spencer = Vladimir Guerrero), but this is life with Beltran on the last year of his seven year deal.

Hairston has been hitting well this spring and owns a career .278 batting average against left handers. With him on the roster you have a more than capable starter when a southpaw is on the mound. Nick Evans also is an option in this role, but he’s a huge downgrade defensively. Against right handers, which is what teams predominantly will face, Willie Harris just won’t cut it every day. You are looking, at best, a league average hitter who will play solid defense. A better hope is Fernando Martinez finally reaching his potential and giving the Mets some punch from the left side. His bat has shown life this spring, but his last stint in the big leagues proved him to be overmatched, and full of embarrassing on the field moments. The organization can only hope he’s matured since then.

If you are thinking Lucas Duda, think again, as he’s only played nine games in right field for his career. Defense is secondary with Duda, and I don’t believe the spacious right field at Citi will treat him kindly. Too bad, because his bat may be the best of the group.

Although Beltran is downplaying the soreness in his knee, it’s clear that age is catching up to him. We know he can play when on the field, but how will his body hold up to the rigors of a full schedule when he is already sore on March 8th? Right now, the Mets could probably survive in the short term, but over the course of 162 games the lineup may prove to be a bat short. Considering the backend of the rotation is suspect, today’s news is the first damper on what has been a positive camp.

The aforementioned replacements are very good bench players, but fall short when thrust into a full time gig. The team can only hope that this is a minor setback and 120+ games is still a reasonable goal for Carlos Beltran.

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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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7 Responses to The Beltran Options Don’t Cut It

  1. Scott

    Ok u dont like the options. What do u suggest??? Hairston/Harris are more than adequate replacements. Not better but adequate. If fmart is healthy then great. His health is the issue at this point in his career. Personally u cannot argue with anything Hairston/Harris have done this spring

  2. R U Kidding

    Hairston might hit 240 with 10hrs,that’s not much of a drop from a 120 game,gimpy Beltran. If Murphy and thole come through it will make up the loss. Theres a lot of talent here especially if either Young or Capuano can win 8-10 games. It’s not like the Mets weren’t aware that Beltran could break down. That’s why Sandy got Hairston.

  3. Mike Silva

    Scott

    Not suggesting that Hairston or Harris are bad options, but they will be exposed if they are asked to play more than 250-300 AB’s

    Beltran at 120 games is acceptable. Eighty to One Hundred might be too little for this team

  4. Stu B

    To which Davis are you referring?

  5. Mike Silva

    I meant Harris, corrected it

  6. tnt1528

    its time to add beltran to perez and castillo in get them the hell out of here right now,he sucks,most overated player in baseball,didnt want to be here in the first place,,time to call an american league team to find him a dh spot and pay at least half his salary…..rather lose with any younger guy(duda ,whose bat looks perfect for right field,,,f-martinez,or any other guy

  7. Momboelitist

    “most overrated player in baseball”

    I love this cliché! You’re a genius! By the way, I took the liberty of correcting your spelling.

    Give me a break with that most overrated BS! Beltran isn’t even a blip on the MLB radar right now and he’s overrated?

    If you’re speaking in past tense, I defy you to find an all around better CF when he was healthy.

    Come back when you know something about baseball.

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