According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran hopes to start running in a week. If this is true, that would mean the Mets are anywhere from five to seven weeks away from their center fielder returning.

Although this certainly could be wishful thinking, since the news is coming from Heyman we know that the source is likely Beltran’s agent Scott Boras. So this should be pretty close to first hand information. Boras has a shady reputation, but there is no real reason to lie or mislead in this instance.

If it’s true, it is certainly great news for the Mets. Angel Pagan, the center fielder who has taken on most of the duties in Beltran’s absence, has done a decent job, but is clearly no starter.

Having Beltran back in the lineup instantly makes it a lot deeper.

Let’s look at seven weeks for Beltran’s return as nothing has progressed quickly so far. That puts his return at the middle of June. The Mets are in first place now, but that is because they have been unsustainably hot and the Phillies have been pretty bad at the same time. If the Mets can hang in there for the next seven weeks, that should give them more than enough time to make a post season run.

If the Mets do manage to hang in there with the Phils until July and general manager Omar Minaya manages to get this team a solid pitcher through a trade ,it’s even possible that the Mets could challenge for the division.

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