This Monday morning, Carlos Beltran is hitting .298/.406/.653 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He's on pace, if you're a fan of extrapolating a month-and-a-half into a full season, for 62 home runs and 152 RBI (and 24 stolen bases), which would probably make year one of the Cardinals' two-year gamble for his services a success.
Question: When was the last time Carlos Beltran had a 30-game stretch quite this good? Answer: Early 2009, the last time he seemed to be healthy. Back then he was hitting .370/.467/.583 33 games into the year, with seven doubles, six home runs, and four stolen bases.
Here's the takeaway, and I'll start with the negative: Carlos Beltran is very fragile. The positive: When he's feeling good enough to steal bases, he is a remarkably formidable talent, able to do nearly everything that needs doing on a baseball diamond. With Allen Craig available, thanks to Lance Berkman's return, to back him up a little more frequently, the Cardinals should do everything they can to make sure they get the healthy Beltran as long as possible.