Carlos Beltran plays the outfield

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Carlos Beltran’s rehabilitation continues apace. Today, for the first time, he played some center field in an extended spring training game.  He also went 3 for 5 with a homer.

I’ve always wondered about “extended spring training.”  Who are the other 17 guys the rehabbing star is playing against? Are they any good? Do they make it like simulated games for pitchers and just make up rules to accommodate the player in question or is it a regulation game? I’m assuming the Mets play their extended spring training games in Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Does anyone come to watch them? Do the players go to that same cheesy sports bar around the corner afterward?

I don’t feel like being in Florida in June, but in the interests of journalism, I’d gladly accept an expenses-paid trip down there to cover extended spring training.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.