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Carlos Beltran (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Keeping Beltran at DH is the best bet for Girardi

Carlos Beltran (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

At the start of the recent road trip manager Joe Girardi thought there might be a chance that Carlos Beltran was close to returning to the outfield, but that was also prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. Since then the Yankees acquired utility man Martin Prado, which addressed the need of a right-handed bat that can play right field. Before Saturday’s game Girardi said that Prado will be used as the everyday right fielder going forward, with Ichiro Suzuki in a platoon situation. Basically means the Yankees are best suited to keep Beltran as the primary designated hitter.

That’s not a bad thing either, especially the way Beltran has been swinging the bat. Seems the time Beltran has spent as the DH has finally got him as healthy as possible, and there’s no need to even have him worry about playing the field and potentially reinjuring his elbow. Even Beltran said himself that he wasn’t even really close to returning to defensive action according to Meredith Marakovits.

Beltran has been getting hot, and finally looks good from both sides of the plate, left-handed power has finally returned.ย  He is currently amidst a 9-game hitting streak, batting .484 (15-for-31), 3 HR, and 9 RBI. During that span he’s had seven multi hit games, including the last five straight. It might just be a small sample size, but the last 10 games his batting average is up 47 points, from .220 to .247. That’s still nowhere near what we expected Beltran to be this late in the season, but the jump in his slugging percentage (.444) is showing that he’s on the right track, let’s hope he continues this upward trend.

Texas Leaguers

Obviously he has to continue to hit along with the rest of middle of the order. But keeping him as the DH for the remainder of season is probably the best for Yankee lineup going forward. He will continue his throwing program, but chances we see him play any right field this season isn’t a priority. He’s played every game since returning from the disabled list at DH, a total of 43 games straight games. Batting .247/.302/.444 .746 OPS with 14 HR and 40 RBI on the season, Beltran’s 102 wRC+ is below his usual season average and projected season wRC+. But the simple eye test can tell keeping him healthy and hitting is working in his current situation. The risk of putting him back in the field doesn’t out weigh the rewards. Prado and Ichiro can handle right field anyways, having a healthy Beltran bat is what’s needed.