No Car-tilage Beltran; worse than you thought?

Carlos Beltran sat out on Monday as the New York Mets fell to the Detroit Tigers in their 9th Grapefruit league game this spring. Without Beltran, who was supposed to DH today in the lineup, the Mets mustered just 1 run in a 2-1 loss.

Michael G. Baron

Beltran who went 1-3, Sunday afternoon against the Redsox, upon arriving to Digital Domain Park today told Manager Terry Collins that he was “sore in a good way.” Even though the soreness was “good”, Manager Terry Collins kept him out of the lineup, and instead has him penciled in to DH tomorrow.

Although the move last week, in which he stepped into Collins office and announced he would move to right, to allow his protégé Angel Pagan a chance to win the Centerfield battle, looked like a classy move, there may be more to it.
Sunday Night on the New York Bite, ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor offered his opinion: “He realized he was not going to win the Center field derby, so he launched a preemptive strike, if you will,” he said. “I certainly think there were some self serving agendas here, I don’t want to knock him, but I think it was a 50-50 decision where he both ended the “Quarter Back” Controversy, and also with Scott Boras advisement, no doubt, looked towards that new contract.”
Carlos Beltran singled on his first at bat on Sunday against the Redsox, and then moved over to second on a Jason Bay single. He then proceeded to score on a Daniel Murphy groundball single up the middle, but looked very sluggish and seemed to be laboring coming around third base. He said later that he was around 80%.
This just is not good. Carlos Beltran has an arthritic knee, so for him to be at only 80% before the season starts is worrisome because it is only a condition that will get worse. David Lennon, Mets beat reporter for Newsday explained to me why this was so troublesome, “His knee is not getting better, it’s only getting worse, I am pretty certain he will need micro-fracture surgery at some point, he understands that the only way to play with that knee right now is to manage it.,” Lennon said.
Managing it might not mean just rehabbing and icing, but possibly missing time. “It would not surprise me at all for him to miss significant chucks of the season, am I saying he is going to spend two months on the DL? No. But it is a degenerative condition,” Lennon said.
The question is not does he want to do it, but will he be able to. On the New York Bite Adam Rubin explained: “Because its the last year of his contract, he will try and bust through the pain as much as possible, you are going to get the best out of Carlos Beltran, its just a question of how much his body will allow.” 
So what exactly is wrong with it? According to Lennon, a lot!
“He has had on that same knee, two surgeries in the past three years. All you can do with an arthritic knee, every once in a while as scar tissue builds up, is to have surgery to clean it out. The problem is, pretty soon there is no cartilage in the knee, and the cartilage is what cushions the knee, its what prevents bone on bone rubbing together,” Lennon said.
Micro-fracture surgery does just that by, “creating small holes in the bone in that area to cause blood flow to create new cartilage. Because right now, he has arthritis- which means there is no cushioning in that area, so the bones are rubbing against each other.”
That’s why he wears the clunky brace. “He wears the brace to cushion the knee from the shock of running on it. To prevent the pain, because as you put more and more use on it, the worse it gets,” Lennon said.
Will Beltran, who just had a minor setback today after not even playing the field, get on the field enough to learn a position he has played just four times in his career? Lets first just worry about him getting back on the field…

Follow me on twitter @BarrettNYSC


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