Outfielder Carlos Beltran had yet another good season in 2012. He looks good this spring as well except for a toe problem that has stuck with him for a few days. In spite of that he is not in camp with the St. Louis Cardinals but instead is playing in the World Baseball Classic with Team Puerto Rico. Someone that plays the game like Beltran does might draw a few worries for playing full speed games with a bad toe. I think however, that Beltran will be fine.
Anytime you see an outfielder or a speedster with a toe problem you have to worry a little bit. Those are the kind of small things that can really sideline a season for a big leaguer that goes all out. Beltran is all hustle all the time. That means with Puerto Rico he isn’t taking the option of the designated hitter to save his toe from the outfield duties. He is playing the outfield and intends to stick it out throughout the tournament.
The good news is that Beltran is smart and tough. He’ll go all out and deal with the soreness but I don’t think he’ll push himself all the way to a more serious injury before the WBC ends and he returns to the Cardinals. More toe pain could derail his preseason a little bit but then again he could hit the regular season fully confident and in perfect form because of the extra playing time. As with all players involved in the Classic, it’s a matter of opinion. As serious as Beltran is about playing for his country, the benefits of the WBC far outweigh the risks.