Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beltran trying to get healthy after injury-filled 2014

Carlos Beltran might not be the healthiest player in the world right now, but that doesn't mean he's ready to give up on his career. 

The veteran Yankees outfielder, 37, is still going through his normal winter program despite having undergone surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow September 30, he recently revealed in an interview with the YES Network. Beltran, who is set to make $30 million over the next two seasons, played in just 109 games in 2014 due to multiple injuries, and didn't exactly compensate for that missed time with his .233 batting average.

"The strengthening program, you know, we kind of basically did everything," Beltran said, via's Bryan Hoch. "So the range of motion is there, bending is there. That's the most important part of rehab, trying to be able to get that range of motion back."

Being able to start Beltran every day would certainly help out the Yankees, seeing as the team's current bench isn't guaranteed to succeed. 

Chris Young was solid during his brief stint with the Yankees last fall, but besides that, struggled during the year. He hit just .205/.283/.346 in 88 contests with the Mets, possibly putting even more pressure on Beltran to stay on the field. 

And he's doing his best to ensure he can, but admits he is changing up his routine this offseason to counter his aging. 

"There were things that I used to do that I don't do now," he said. "I used to go to the track a lot and do a lot of jumping, a lot of running. But I don't do that. I do it in the pool, less impact. I try to train smart." 

Beltran disappointed in his first season with the Yankees last year, connecting on just 15 home runs while recording 49 RBI. In both 2012 and 2013 with the Cardinals, those numbers repectively read at least 24 and 84 for him, making his sudden struggles with New York a surprise to many.

Still, Beltran has his head up.

"I didn't have the year that I was looking forward to having [last year]," he said. "This year, I just feel like I need to prove myself again. That's how it is." 

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