Carlos Beltran plans to start taking batting practice against actual pitchers during the upcoming week in Port St. Lucie, another step in his return from Jan. 13 arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Beltran has been swinging off a tee and taking curveballs from a pitching machine.
“He’ll do some things next week as far as hit live and maybe not run -- those types of things,” manager Jerry Manuel said.
Beltran would not speak to the media while visiting the Mets before Saturday’s game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium. He started running on the outfield track in Port St. Lucie, Fla., this week while wearing a knee brace.
The Mets have estimated it would take four to six weeks for Beltran to prepare for major league competition once he does begin baseball activities in earnest. Still, as they learned from Jose Reyes’ saga, it can take a while to get comfortable with pitching after being away from it for so long.
“Obviously, just like we experienced with Jose, once you get here, then that’s still another adjustment that we’ll have to endure,” Manuel said. “He seems ready to start swinging the bat against some live pitchers, which is a very good sign for us.”