Mets officially shut down outfielder Carlos Beltran

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No surprise here.

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the Mets have decided to shut outfielder Carlos Beltran down for the rest of the 2010 season because of pain and discomfort in his surgically-repaired right knee.

An MRI of the knee Wednesday showed only inflammation, but the Mets aren’t going to mess around with a player that they owe $18.5 million to in 2011.

Beltran, 33, turned in a .255/.341/.427 batting line, seven homers and 27 RBI over 220 at-bats this year.  He stole three bases in four chances.

The Mets should consider moving him out of center and over to right field heading into 2011.  Angel Pagan covers more ground at this point and might even be a better all-around player.  But the club has made no indication that a plan like that is in the cards. 

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.