Beltran simulates game today

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
11:06
AM ET
Carlos Beltran plans to simulate a game on a back field in Port St. Lucie on Thursday, then repeat the process again on Friday if his body allows. The goal is to get the outfielder in an actual minor league game Saturday, GM Sandy Alderson said.

The simulated games will be fairly aggressive, the GM said, including Beltran "moving around" in right field.

Alderson still maintains Opening Day is a possibility.

"Opening Day is kind of like the Dow at 10,000," Alderson said. "It if dips below it, then you don't know where it comes to rest. I think the idea is: Let's see if he can be ready for Opening Day. And let's go for it. If he can't be, he can't be. But I think that's what he wants. So I think that's what we're trying to reach."

Alderson indicated things have gone slower than the organization hoped. The primary hurdle, the GM believed, was deciding on center or right field, which was quickly resolved.

"I think the pace is a little more deliberate," Alderson said. "Well, certainly, coming into spring, at the outset it was, 'Who's going to play center? Who's going to play right?' We got that taken care of pretty quickly. But, since then, it's all been a little bit unpredictable -- but, in a strict sense. In a larger sense, should we be surprised there are these issues? Probably not."

Beltran appeared in his lone Grapefruit League game two and a half weeks ago. He then had a cortisone shot in his left knee. The longer-term issue has been with his arthritic right knee.

Asked if it was only one knee that was the issue now, Alderson said: "I think right now it's really about both. I don't think there are problems with both. But I think they're monitoring the condition of both. I wouldn't say at this state there's a focus on the left or the right. At least I haven't heard that discussed in the last couple of days."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
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OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .824
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.45
SOZ. Wheeler 163