Delgado, Beltran return to action

Delgado, Beltran return to action

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Neither Carlos Beltran or Carlos Delgado were particularly satisfied with his first day back to work Monday. But each saw it as a positive step and a necessary one.

Beltran played for the first time since last season and, batting fourth and serving as the designated hitter, went hitless in three at-bats in what became a 1-1 tie between the Mets and Red Sox. He said he felt "a little weird" and not pain free.

Delgado played for the third time this spring, the first time since his right hip impingement was diagnosed, He was hitless in two at-bats, and made a smooth play on a 3-6 forceout and felt no pain.

Their return to active duty left Luis Castillo -- and the recovering Moises Alou -- as the only regulars not playing. Castillo said he expects to play for the first time Thursday.

Beltran, who had surgery on both knees in October, says the atrophy in the left leg is greater than in the right and that he need more time to gain confidence in his repaired legs before venturing into center field. But the pain he feels in not as acute as what he experienced last season.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.