As spring training fast approaches I want to go around-the-horn on the projected Mets opening day lineup position by position. I will talk about my thoughts on how that position matches up and how it should be handled. Hope you enjoy.

When the news spread like wildfire that Carlos Beltran was gonna need to be shut down for the first 40 games or so to have surgery on his knee, the sky quickly began to fall in Mets land.  The reason for this is quite simple: Carlos Beltran is the best player on the team.  Losing him for any length of time could prove fatal to the Mets hopes.  This is why I think it was a good thing to have the surgery.  Yes it did unfortunately bridge last years injury woes right into this year and that’s not good for morale, but I would much rather lose Beltran for the first 40 games then the last 40.

Luckily for the Mets CF is arguably their deepest position with Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. acting as backup.  Turning to either of these guys for a little while is ok, but if either of them see prolonged action then the Mets are in trouble.  It’s imperative to get Beltran healthy and to not rush him back.  We need to know that when he gets back he is back for good.  If he comes back and then two weeks later goes down again the ramifications on team morale will be bad, and the sky will really be crashing down for Mets fans as we relive an all too familiar scenario from last year.

When healthy Beltran is one of the best centerfielders in the league.  He is also one of the under-appreciated players in the game.  If you take a minute and actually look at his stats they are really impressive.  He isn’t the guy that’s gonna win a batting title, or get chicks with the long ball.  But he will consistently hit from .280-.310, hit 20-30 dingers, and drive in 100+ runs a year.  All while playing a Gold Glove CF.  He’s really the backbone of the Mets and it’d really be a shame if he weren’t a Met beyond 2011 because of bad blood built through this injury/surgery fiasco.