Carlos Beltran goes 3-for-4 in Single-A rehab game

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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.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.