What's going on with Carlos Beltran?

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We know where he is: Port St. Lucie, Florida.
But that’s about all we know as far as Carlos Beltran’s progress from knee surgery. Reports a week ago suggested that he’d start running last Saturday. But those were erroneous and he still hasn’t been cleared to do anything resembling a baseball activity.
“There’s been no setback,” Mets spokesman Brian Horwitz said. “He’s just not at that stage. He’s still in a rehabilitation stage.”
It may sound encouraging that there’s been no setback. But you can’t have a setback without having some progress in the first place, and we don’t know that Beltran is any further along in his recovery than he was a month ago.
What we do know is that Beltran won’t rejoin the Mets for at least 4-6 weeks until after he starts running. A May return from the DL is looking less likely with each passing day.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.