Late last week, Beltran was able to take batting practice and swing the bat without pain. Beltran said he was relieved at the level of comfort he felt. So were we. Surgery to deal with the bone spur in his right elbow would have kept him out until at least August, and we are all tired of the multi-year injury spell that is plaguing the Yankees.
Right now, the Yankees’ lineup lacks a legitimate threat to go yard, and Beltran would fill that need quite well. He was one of the blockbuster acquisitions the Yankees made this past offseason, signed to a 3-year, $45M contract. Carlos Beltran produced 20+ homers, 80+ RBI, and .800+ OPS for the last three straight years. He made the All-Star team in each of those years. He also showed good durability, recording 140 or more games in each of those years. It seemed like a good investment, and it still may be. The next few weeks should tell.
Of course, Beltran’s health is not without risks. You cannot fight Father Time, and 37 year olds do need to pay more attention to their resilience. He also has history with injuries. He missed most of the second half of 2009 with a nagging knee injury and the first half of 2010 recovering from knee surgery. Nevertheless, that was then and this is now.
Next up for Beltran is a trip to Florida to get about a week or two of rehab games to get game ready. Barring the unforeseen, the Yankees expect him to return some time during their next road trip in Kansas City, Seattle, and Oakland.
I believe we are all tired of the bad news regarding our players getting hurt. I would love to see the Opening Day lineup actually out on the field playing up to expectations. The good news here is that Beltran is ready to go and could be back within a week. It could not be soon enough.