Last week Carlos Beltran admitted that he “would have to listen” if the Mets approached him about switching positions, but Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Beltran and general manager Sandy Alderson spent Saturday together in Puerto Rico and the topic wasn’t broached.
“The trip to Puerto Rico was not to accomplish a position change,” Alderson told McCullough. “It’s not necessarily that the subject is only broached after spring training begins, but I think it’s only fair to think about that and deal with it in the context of real information.”
In other words, the Mets may want to actually get a look at Beltran and his surgically repaired knee in some game action before determining whether he should remain in center field. That approach certainly makes sense, but Beltran has indicated that he’d like to know the team’s plans sooner than later, saying: “If the organization has different things in mind, then we have to talk about that.”
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.