Beltran has battled knee issues for some time and had surgery on his arthritic right knee in January 2010. He was sidelined the first half of last season, and when he returned after the All-Star break, Beltran struggled with mobility, only vaguely resembling one of the league's best center fielders.
Angel Pagan played center field in Beltran's absence last year and performed well before moving to right. And right field is where Pagan expected to begin 2011, too. Earlier this month he admitted that "If Carlos is healthy, he'll be the center fielder. No doubt about that."
"It's a good problem to have, because I think we're both good defensive players," Pagan said at the time. "I think we'll be fine. Doesn't matter where it is, I'm ready. I'm very prepared for the opportunity, and hopefully I can bring the best I can bring to the team."
Now Pagan will get that chance from center field.
As for Beltran, he is 33 and in the final season of a seven-year, $119 million contract. In his 13-year Major League career, he has started just three games in right field.