Beltran given off in Braves series opener

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran was given a day Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran was given a day off against Braves lefthander Jair Jurrjens. Photo Credit: AP, 2009

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ATLANTA - Carlos Beltran, who is still struggling from the left side, was given Monday off against the Braves' Jair Jurrjens. Angel Pagan moved over to centerfield and Chris Carter got the start in leftfield, batting third.

Despite a longer-than-expected adjustment process, Beltran has played in 41 of a possible 43 games, including 38 starts, since his July 15 return from the disabled list. The original plan was to give Beltran regular rest as he worked his way back into shape, but Beltran didn't want the days off, and Jerry Manuel gave in to those wishes.

"Playing three days a week would be like a vacation," Beltran said recently. "I need to play every day to know I can physically handle it."

Beltran was batting .212 (29-for-137) with two home runs, 14 RBIs and 25 strikeouts heading into Monday. From the left side, it drops to .204 (22-for-108) with zero homers, and the difference in slugging percentage, from right to left, is .586 to .241. Beltran said that he's just not comfortable batting from the left side, which is partly why Manuel chose to rest him in preparation for facing Braves' lefthander Mike Minor on Tuesday.

"You figure to give him a little breather here before the lefty," Manuel said. "Hopefully he can get hot for us. I'm sure he's frustrated with his production at this point. But as far the knee goes, he's not had any issues."

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Ike doesn't like

Manuel said that he's spoken to Ike Davis about his occasional animated displays after called strikeouts - he had another one Sunday in the Mets' 5-1 win over the Astros. But Davis said that it had not been discussed and the rookie first baseman didn't see any problem with expressing frustration after what he believes to be a bad call.

"No, I don't remember anything," Davis said. "Besides when I come in and I look at video, it's usually not a strike. But it's not like I hold a grudge against them. I'm just upset I struck out, what are you going to do?

"I'm an emotional player. If I think it's a ball and I strike out on something that I thought I was going to walk on, I'm going to be a little upset. But then I forget about it and go on with my business."

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