- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. (AP) - Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup for the second straight day, with the Mets taking a conservative approach toward getting his right knee ready for opening day.

The 33-year-old outfielder played Sunday then sat out Monday. Knee problems limited him to 81 games in 2009 and 64 last year.

Beltran had said Monday that he hoped to play Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. Instead, he will hit in a simulated game.

Beltran tested his knee Sunday as the designated hitter against Boston. He singled and later scored from second with a slide home.

“He’ll be ready when he’s ready. We can get a guy ready in 15 days,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “When he goes to those back fields and hits, I don’t care if he runs to first base. It’s about seeing pitches; it’s about working on his swing. As long as he can hit, I don’t care if he runs. I can get that stuff done another day. The aggressiveness is in getting the at-bats in, but I don’t think we’re going to be that aggressive on the running side.”

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