As Aaron mentioned earlier, three-time Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Beltran announced Monday that he will make the move to right field.
It turns out the switch was a couple seasons in the making.
According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, after Beltran initially developed the bone bruise in his right knee in the summer of 2009, his agent Scott Boras suggested that it might be beneficial for his career to move to move to a less demanding position than center field.
“He said, ‘Later in your career, you have to think about maybe making a move to a corner position,'” Beltran said. “I was like, ‘Why should I make a move?’ And he said, ‘Your bat is important in the game. You’re going to play a good defensive outfield if you’re in the corner. Plus, you’re going to be fresh for the long run.'”
There’s a certain segment of Mets fans who dislike Beltran no matter what he does, so I’m waiting to hear how his decision to move to right field was somehow selfishly motivated. As if he has dollar signs in his eyes instead of the best interests of the team in mind. The truth is, if Beltran can stay healthy, this is the perfect solution for both the team and the player.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.