PHOENIX -- Playing with a fractured right toe, Carlos Beltran hardly had the opportunity to ease in defensively on Monday. Arizona's offense kept Beltran active in right field throughout its 6-2 win over St. Louis, leading to a curious analysis of how much -- if any -- that injured toe inhibited Beltran's movement.
He contended that it didn't -- "I feel good," Beltran said -- and Matheny cited the expansive outfield dimensions as a factor in so many balls finding holes. Asked if Beltran seemed at all slowed by the injury, Matheny answered, "Carlos is deceiving on how he's moving. The right-center gap is a big gap. The ball carries here. It's hard to defend here."
Beltran was back in the lineup on Tuesday, though Matheny has vowed to be proactive in giving the veteran outfielder rest throughout the season in order to guard against the late-season wear and tear Beltran dealt with in 2012. The first of Beltran's off-days is expected to happen before the end of this road trip.
"We're playing it by ear, but also trying to put some plans in place," Matheny said. "We'll see what we see, and we always listen to the player. But also we have some ideas of what we're going to do."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.