No matter that it is only June, this blogger of the day awards Angel Pagan the unsung hero of the Mets. He's holding space in centerfield until Carlos Beltran returns sometime in July.
There could be a a degree of subtration by addition unless and until Beltran, 33, proves he is the player of old. As opposed to just getting older.
For a salary of $1.5 million, Pagan is batting .281 with 26 runs batted in and, importantly, 13 stolen bases on a team that has run itself into some victories. Team him with Jose Reyes and David Wright and there's over 100 stolen bases over the season. His career high was 14 last season when he played in 88 games, also as a spare part.
Who knows how Beltran's knee will hold up and even if it does, don't expect him to steal many bases. On that aspect alone the Mets will miss Pagan.
Pagan, whose history with the Mets dates back to 1999, will stay ready. Beltran, who is making $19 million, could be far removed from his 2006-2008 seasons when he averaged 33 home runs and 113 RBIs. And that was pre-Citi Field so forget those HR totals.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.