People have been talking about it for a while now, but it looks like it will finally happen. Following a meeting with manager Terry Collins Monday morning, Carlos Beltran will be moving to right field, with Angel Pagan in center.
“I came today thinking in my heart, ‘I still think I can play center field,’” Beltran said. “But, at the same time, this is not about Carlos. This is about team.”
Pagan was then summoned to the meeting to talk about the switch in the outfield. He had done a decent job in that role last year when Beltran was hurt. And at 33, Beltran ain’t getting any faster.
“In order for me to play center field, I need more time,” Beltran said. “I want to be on the same page with everyone here. I want Terry to have his time and to come to the ballpark ready to play the lineup without thinking where he is going to play Pagan, where he’s going to play me. At the same time I’m thinking about Pagan coming to the ballpark and preparing himself and focused to play baseball. I don’t want to create any distractions here. Like I said, I want to play right. I think it’s best for the team. I think it’s going to be best for me also, best for my knee. It’s going to be less active than playing center field.”
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Pagan seems honored to be taking over Beltran’s position.
“I feel really fortunate to be passed this torch from the player I always looked up to,” he said. “I think having him right next to me is going to be a great plus for me. I’m going to keep looking up to him and keep trying to pick his brain. He’s one of the best center fielders out there, and I’m trying to be like him.”
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter as neither player will be able to cash a check from the broke Mets.