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Mets lose Beltran to DL, bring back Fernando

Already down their third- and fourth-best position players, the Mets just lost No. 1 when it was decided that Carlos Beltran would need a couple of weeks off to rest his troublesome right knee.

It appears as though Beltran has been making the calls here. Though he kept playing through the pain over the weekend, he chose to have an MRI on Monday which apparently revealed that the bone bruise he suffered last month has either gotten worse or at least failed to improve. Clearly, the two weeks off was preferable to a second cortisone shot that might not numb the pain for any longer than the first one did.

The Mets have decided to bring back Fernando Martinez to replace Beltran. Martinez, of course, was just sent down last week after hitting .194/.286/.274 in 62 at-bats. Now the club has to determine whether it makes sense to go with Martinez in center and hope that his bat heats up or if it should play Jeremy Reed’s superior glove in center field. Reed has hit .294/.324/.368 in 68 at-bats this season, giving him a 692 OPS that’s barely above his 680 career mark. Martinez will certainly be the choice against lefties, but Reed may currently be the better option against righties.

At this point, the Mets should be content if they enter the All-Star break at .500. They’ve had more obstacles to deal with than the Phillies have thus far, yet they’re still just two games back in the NL East. Also, there’s no one at all likely to run away with the wild card. If they can get Jose Reyes and Beltran back after the break, perhaps Carlos Delgado in August and add a pitcher before the deadline, then they’ll still be in very good position to set themselves up for another spectacular final-week failure (I kid, I kid).