HS_Staff.jpg picture by InternSteve

                                                                                                                      AP Photo

What is Carlos Beltran capable of?

Of all questions regarding the second half for the 2010 New York Mets, none loom quite as large as the return of Carlos Beltran.  After playing in just 81 games last season, Beltran missed the entire first half this year after his controversial decision to have knee surgery in the offseason, a procedure that the Mets may or may not have approved.

His long awaited return to centerfield and the cleanup spot will take place on Thursday in San Francisco.  Players of Beltran’s caliber aren’t always easy to find on the trade market around the deadline.  If healthy, his arrival could be one of the biggest second half “acquisitions” in the league and could shift the balance of power in the NL East.  If Beltran can stay on the field, what is he capable of?  He hasn’t faced major league pitching in over nine months so it’s unlikely to see immediate results.  It may take time to return to form, but when and if he does, it could propel the Mets to October baseball.