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Beltran addresses status

Carlos Beltran

Center Field
New York Mets

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Carlos Beltran had never heard of the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day." But when it was briefly explained to him that the main character wakes up daily and relives the same day, Beltran could identify.

"Well, that's been for me almost two years," Beltran said. "I'm trying to get better, brother."

Beltran played catch and took 75 swings from the right side in a batting cage Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Team medical personnel did not want him swinging from the left side yet because he is still trying to recover from left knee tendinitis.

Beltran noted there's no way that could completely go away with a week of being limited to pool and other non-baseball activity. He expects to repeat today's program again on Thursday, likely upping the number of swings he takes, but again not swinging lefty.

Because he hit a lot over the winter in Puerto Rico, Beltran still holds out hope he can play in the Grapefruit League the final week and step right into the April 1 opener against Florida's Josh Johnson, even though that's starting to seem overly optimistic, if not unrealistic.

"I'm improving," Beltran said. "The pain is about 50 percent less than it was a week ago. ... I mean, it's not going to be 100 percent now because tendinitis doesn't get cured in a week. It's going to get better. I need to continue to strengthen the quads and work and try to make the leg feel better."

On Opening Day, Beltran said: "That's what I'm shooting for. But at the same time, I want to make sure it's good to go. ... I feel good that I was able to hit a lot in the offseason. I feel good hitting. Timing-wise, it's going to take time. It's not going to come from one day to another. But facing pitchers I don't feel weird out there. I don't feel like I need to work on a lot of things in order for me to feel good at the plate."