(BaseballSTL) JUPITER, Fla. – Don’t expect to see much of Carlos Beltran in center field for the Cardinals in 2013.
Beltran played nine games in center a year ago and made seven starts, helping to get an extra right-hander in the lineup on days they faced a left-handed pitcher or when Jon Jay needed a day off.
But Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Sunday morning that the 35-year-old outfielder will likely be kept in right field this year.
“I really doubt we’re going to push Carlos in center too much this year,” Matheny said. “Last year it was a topic of conversation and we toyed with it a little bit but we realize that’s a stretch for him at this point in his career. We’re going to just keep an eye on him and try to set him up for success.”
Matheny said whoever makes the team as a backup outfielder for the bench must be able to play center field. Outfield candidates Shane Robinson, Adron Chambers and Justin Christian all have experience in center.
Beltran started in right field Sunday against the Boston Red Sox, his second straight start to open the Grapefruit League schedule.