UPDATE: Beltran was 1-for-5 with an RBI single and two walks as the designated hitter in his second extended spring training game on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, 9:01 PM: Carlos Beltran was 2-for-6 as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Friday afternoon, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork. It was Beltran’s first game activity since undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.
Beltran didn’t run beyond first base in the controlled setting, thus the Mets downplayed the significance of the event as “nothing crazy,” but before Friday’s game against the Marlins, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that it is “fair to start the clock” on his return.
While the news is something for Mets fans to be excited about, general manager Omar Minaya told reporters last week that Beltran is unlikely to be activated from the disabled list before the All-Star break.
Welp, it was probably worth the gamble given that the Angels were paying most of his salary. But the Rangers’ gamble on Josh Hamilton failed and now Josh Hamilton is a free agent. The club has given him unconditional release waivers.
Hamilton underwent surgery to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee back in June. During surgery it was discovered that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. This whole season was lost and, while Hamilton has one year remaining on his contract, the Rangers are clearly able to compete without him and could use the roster spot over the small chance that he could be an everyday player again.
Hamilton will earn $30 million next season, $26.41 million of which is being paid for by the Angels. Last year in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers, Hamilton hit .253/.291/.441 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. At age 35, it’s not hard to imagine that his major league career is effectively over.
With the continuing caveat that it is really weird and likely as uncomfortable as hell for all of those involved for this to be playing out so publicly, here is the latest news on the Doc Gooden/Daryl Strawberry/possible cocaine relapse story. From the Daily News:
Dwight (Doc) Gooden is insisting publicly that he doesn’t have a drug problem, yet more and more people want to help him — none more significant than the Yankees, who have reached out to say they’ll pay for any treatment he would consider getting.
That’s admirable of the Yankees, as is their refusal to comment on it further (the Daily News got this info from Strawberry). The Yankees, of course, gave both Strawberry and Gooden second chances in the 1990s when their addiction problems threatened their careers.