Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored on Saturday during a rehab game with Single-A Port St. Lucie. He also played seven full innings of center field and had two put-outs, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Beltran went 2-for-3 on Friday night and is beginning to show that his timing at the plate is nearly back to full strength. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since late March and the 60-day disabled list since late May. Now it appears that he is around two weeks from returning to the Mets’ big-league starting lineup.
Manager Jerry Manuel hinted to reporters last week that Beltran might return Monday for the Mets’ three-game series against the Marlins in Puerto Rico, but that has already been debunked. Instead, it appears that the outfielder will continue to climb his way through the Mets’ minor league system, boosting ticket sales and facing increasingly competitive pitching at every stop.
The boys at the Star-Ledger believe that he will not return to the starting lineup in New York until after the All-Star break, which runs from July 12-14. It’s certainly possible.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.