Girardi: Beltran capable of more production for Yankees

Veteran outfielder dealt with illnesses, posted .173 average through 14 games

Girardi: Beltran capable of more production for Yankees

NEW YORK -- The second season with the Yankees has, to Carlos Beltran's chagrin, started with much of the same feeling as the first.

Beltran went 0-for-3 with a walk in Friday's 6-1 victory over the Mets, dropping his batting average to .173 through 14 games, and manager Joe Girardi said that he believes the 38-year-old Beltran is capable of more than he has shown.

"I know he's frustrated. He had a couple of big hits the other day [in Detroit]," Girardi said. "It's been a little bit harder left-handed for him, but I really believe he's going to get going. I do. He probably needs a break here and there and it'll start happening for him."

Girardi opted to start Chris Young, who entered the day batting .357 with four homers and nine RBIs, on Saturday against Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.

The Yankees envisioned using the switch-hitting Beltran regularly as their No. 3 hitter and right fielder, but it is possible that if Beltran continues to struggle, Young could cut into his playing time.

"With him swinging so well, we're looking for ways," Girardi said of Young.

Beltran has said that his surgically repaired right elbow is not giving him any problems, having had a bone spur removed last September that painfully hindered his first season in pinstripes. Beltran has also been affected by two bouts with illness, one in Spring Training and one last week when the Yankees were in St. Petersburg.

"I'm sure it hasn't helped. I thought he was still somewhat weak in Detroit," Girardi said. "At the end of the road trip, it was still [there], a little bit, the chest cold. I think he's better now. But he's really important to our offense, and we have to get him going."

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.