ST. LOUIS -- Whenever Cardinals manager Mike Matheny works out before games, which is often, he uses the same weight room as his players at Busch Stadium. One player whom he sees regularly is Carlos Beltran who, at 36, is hitting more like he did at 26.
"Watch him in the weight room and you know it's not just by chance," Matheny says. "He's doing a lot to stay in the shape he's in."
The Cardinals believe more down time has helped Beltran stay more consistent through the first half. At this point last season, he had missed only three games. This year, he has already sat seven games and has come off the bench in three others.
Being another year removed from knee issues hasn't hurt, either. After spending much of last season hitting cleanup behind Matt Holliday, Beltran also seems to be benefiting from hitting second, in the spot ahead of Holliday. And most players always are more comfortable in their second season after switching teams.
But ask Beltran how he's turning back the...