FLORIDA, Puerto Rico -- Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, a 2002 Caribbean Series alumnus, has been paying close attention to his beloved Puerto Rican team in this year's round-robin at Isidoro Garcia Stadium.
The five-time All-Star is also aware that he's on track for a head-to-head battle with countryman Angel Pagan for the Mets' center-field job. Beltran is not going to lose sleep over either competition.
"I just want to get there in the best condition I can to help the team win ballgames," Beltran, 33, said during player tryouts for the Carlos Beltran Academy on Sunday. "I know there has been a lot of discussion with center field and right field and all that, but in my mind, I just want to focus on being healthy. I'm not concerned. If I'm healthy and everything goes right ... that's not something I have any control of."
The loser of the competition for center field will end up in right field, but a healthy Beltran would appear to have the upper hand. That said, Beltran played in a total of 145 games during the last two seasons because of injuries. As for Pagan, he made a strong case for himself last season, hitting .290 with 11 home runs and 37 stolen bases in his first full season in the big leagues.
"Whatever the manager thinks is best for the team he will do it and I would do it," Beltran said. "All of my career I have played center field, and that's where I feel comfortable but at the same time, it's out of my hands."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.