Carlos Beltran sounds like he’s headed for right field

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Carlos Beltran will do a “baseball-type running program” over the next week to 10 days, after which a decision could be made about whether he will make the move to right field or remain in center field.

Still, in his comments to the media today, Beltran sounded like someone who was comfortable with the idea of making the switch, as long as it will help protect his surgically-repaired right knee and allow him to prolong his career.

Is this as good as the knee is going to get because you’ve had the winter off from baseball wear and tear? Is this about protecting the knee long term? Or can the knee still improve?

“In my heart, I feel it’s going to get better. But, at the same time, I’m looking forward also. I want to play four or five more years in the big leagues. If it’s better for me to do that and move myself to another position, why not?

So you could become a corner outfielder for the rest of your career?

“If it doesn’t get better, my knee, and if it continues to stay the same, probably yes. Hopefully one day I start to feel better after all the work I do, and I can get back to center field, I would love to, because that’s where I feel comfortable.”

Aaron went over the situation the other day and while there’s little doubt that putting Angel Pagan in center field is the right decision for the Mets on paper, Beltran would have quite a challenge ahead of himself. The 33-year-old hasn’t played right field since 2000 as a member of the Royals and playing right field at Citi Field isn’t exactly a picnic, either.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.