Healthy Beltran knows not to overdo it

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though he admitted to being hampered by injuries (more than he let on at the time) late in the 2012 season, Carlos Beltran reported to Spring Training having wrapped up an uninhibited workout program over the winter.

After allowing some time for the aches and pains brought on by the wear and tear of a full season, Beltran said he resumed his normal offseason regimen on schedule. On Friday, he described his current condition as "great."

"When you play 162 games, something is going to happen," Beltran said. "Something is going to hurt. I've been through so much. I tell my wife that I don't pay attention to my waist down. If something hurts, I ignore that part. I continue to move forward. It's part of baseball."

Beltran battled minor ailments throughout 2012, including soreness in his knees, forearm discomfort and an injury to his right hand. While each of those kept Beltran out of the lineup for various lengths of time, last year was the first since 2008 that Beltran was able to avoid a stint on the disabled list.

He played in 151 games, hitting .269 with 26 doubles, 32 homers and 97 RBIs.

Still, becaues of Beltran's injury history, the right fielder will be one of the players whose health manager Mike Matheny monitors especially closely. Matheny has said he will be more active in resting his veteran players in order to decrease the chances that they break down later in the season.

"We are going to have to step in as a staff, and there are going to be days where they don't really like it," Matheny said. "I've also had a year to build up trust with them, and if I've done that, then he can trust the fact that I'm trying to do what's best for him. It might not look right at the time, but the motive and intent is right."

Beltran conceded that a cautious approach is likely the right one.

"When you're a ballplayer and like to compete, sometimes it's hard to say that you need a day off," Beltran said. "You want to go out there and compete. You want to go out there and help the team win ballgames. But sometimes that's not a bad idea [to take a break]. Sometimes, I think, when you're a little banged up it's a little better to take a day than continue to push it, and that day will become a week because you end up hurting yourself."