Beltran not volunteering to change position

New York Mets batter Carlos Beltran watches his New York Mets batter Carlos Beltran watches his RBI-sacrifice against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning. (Aug. 4, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

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ATLANTA - There's no denying that Angel Pagan is a better centerfielder right now than Carlos Beltran. But manager Jerry Manuel has no intention of asking Beltran to switch to a corner spot - and Beltran has no immediate plans to step aside willingly, either.

Faced with a similar situation, the Angels' Torii Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, made the unselfish decision Tuesday, voluntarily switching to rightfield to make room for 23-year-old rookie Peter Bourjos.

"It's going to take him time to adjust," Beltran said, "but let's see what happens."

When asked if he would move at some point, Beltran paused for a moment. That day could come, but he suggested it would be far off in the future.

"I don't know," Beltran said. "I'd have to feel comfortable doing it. It's a big adjustment. Playing centerfield is what I've done all my life. It's like if you put [Jeff] Francoeur in center. He's never played that position."

Beltran, a three-time Gold Glove winner, has played leftfield and rightfield, but only for a combined five games out of the 1,523 he's logged.

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Although Beltran won't say his surgically repaired knee has been an issue in the field, Manuel has taken notice of his deficiencies - and even pointed them out to him during games.

"What he's going to have to do is stop doubles that normally aren't doubles," Manuel said. "People take advantage of an under-control player rather than a player getting it and getting it in. I just think he'll have to stop from taking a long single and making it a double, and we remind him of it. You've got to get the ball in."

Trainer's room

Rod Barajas, on the DL since July 26 with a strained oblique, has progressed only to the point of riding a stationary bike.

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