St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny admitted that outfielder Carlos Beltran "probably" could have played during yesterday's opener against the Cincinnati Reds. However, the skipper told reporters -- including Mark Schmetzer of MLB.com -- that he and the team will continue to take a cautious approach when it comes to the veteran.
"It's still tight," manager Mike Matheny said.
"He probably could go, but if we use him, it will be off the bench. That's
how we've done it all year. Instead of trying to push him through, we've tried
to pay attention to how he feels. That should pay dividends in the long
Beltran was out of the Cardinals' lineup for the second consecutive day Monday due to back soreness. The slugger exited Saturday's contest as a result of the ailment, and he's continued to deal with tightness in his lower back.
After yesterday's game, Beltran told reporters that his back is still tight, but he was able to take swings and expects to be in the Cardinals' lineup for today's game. St. Louis is likely to continue to play it safe with Beltran so as to lessen the chances that he wears down as the regular season comes to an end.
Beltran has showed no signs of showing despite being 36 years old. He's leading the Cardinals with 23 home runs and is near the top of several other offensive categories.
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