Just a few weeks before spring training, Mets fans were finally satisfied with the healthy offense that would be taking the field at CitiField this spring. The core pieces of the puzzle were back in place and recovered from injury. The positives continued to mount as the negatives were swept under the rug.
The Mets announced that their 5-tool star outfielder Carlos Beltran would be sidelined for the duration of Spring Training and beyond after he underwent surgery in Colorado to clean up osteoarthritis in his right knee. According to reports, Beltran could face disciplinary action from the Mets due to the fact that he executed this surgery without permission. On the same token, however, many reports have surfaced that the team was, in fact, notified of the inevitable surgery but just did not agree with it.
Something is very fishy here, and I think it has to do with the failure of the training staff dating back to last season. The team’s doctors would rush players back too quickly from injury, failed to prevent the injury well enough, and did not manage the injuries in the right way. I’m sure Beltran wanted nothing to do with these clowns and probably has better input from his own party. I did read that Beltran has his own doctor, who was the one that performed this surgery.
This could get ugly for everyone. The Mets are probably going to be without their centerfielder until May and both sides may end up with some cold blood from this miscommunication. Beltran’s contract will run out at the end of 2011, at which point we will have a better idea of how the relationship between he and the team will be.
For now, it appears that the Mets will resort to Angel Pagan in center. Pagan is a reliable player when healthy, and will put up decent numbers. He has had his share of injuries over the years, and he should work out well as long as Beltran isn’t sidelined for an extended time than what is expected.
This could actually work out well for the Mets as long as they are able to pick up steam in mid-season. It would be better to have Beltran for the long run than to watch him end his season with a tough injury in the middle of the summer. Mets fans should really be thankful that the surgery had to happen to a guy like Beltran, because they know he can play hurt and will return as soon as it is safe. Clearly, safe is the key word.