Carlos Beltran won’t be in the Cardinal lineup today thanks to being struck in the toe by a pitch earlier in the week. The good news for Cardinal fans is that this move is purely a precaution, and Beltran’s health for the future does not appear in jeopardy. He is still expected to leave for Puerto Rico later today in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, and it’s highly unlikely the team would clear for him such a trip if there were serious concerns.
The Cardinals will be taking great pains to keep Beltran healthy and rested throughout the spring and into the regular season as well. The switch-hitting outfielder will be 36 at the end of April, and has had a long history of injury setbacks over the course of a very successful career. After racking up 3.6 WAR per FanGraphs a season ago, Beltran will be looking to make good on the second year of a two-year, $26 million deal signed last offseason.
Replacing Beltran’s bat in the lineup today for St. Louis is highly regarded prospect Oscar Taveras, who is ironically slated to replace the former when his contract expires at the end of the season.