TAMPA, Fla. -- It has been a relief for Carlos Beltran to play without pain after a season of managing discomfort in his right elbow, and after the Yankees veteran made his spring debut on Friday, he said that there has been no hesitation in trusting his health.
"Honestly, I'm not concerned at all," Beltran said. "I've been taking a lot of swings in Spring Training and taking a lot of BP. Thank God every day I wake up feeling good. I have no concerns. Now it's just time to get the timing and that's it."
Beltran played right field and struck out twice with a walk in the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. His outfield duty was limited to chasing down Neil Walker's fourth-inning double and tossing it back in, which he did without issue.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Beltran looked good and that it is much too early to put stock into at-bats. Beltran said that he does not have an ideal number of plate appearances to log this spring; he is satisfied to get as many as he can.
"I'm just going with the program," Beltran said. "I know that once we get less people here, you're going to start playing more often and almost every day. Once we get to that point, then that will be good for us."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.