Beltran taps Wright, Reyes as workout buddies

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Carlos Beltran is taking the future of the Mets into his own hands. <P> The $119 million centerfielder extended an invitation to David Wright and Jose Reyes to take part in late afternoon agility workouts during spring training, with an eye toward keeping the talented youngsters on the field this season.

"I'm a guy who likes to work," Beltran said. "Being around Reyes and being around Wright, I know what kind of talent they have. It will be good for them to let them know that for you to be successful, you need to work. They're hard workers but for you to stay healthy through the whole season you need to work more."

Last season was the first year that Beltran used the services of a personal trainer through the entire 162-game schedule, and it paid huge dividends, with Beltran nearly single-handedly carrying the Houston Astros to the World Series.

This year, he is hoping that some of the strength and agility training he plans to continue can be shared with the left side of the infield. Wright accepted the invitation to do post-practice workout at the Port St. Lucie Gold's Gym nearly on the spot, while Reyes – who wasn't told until later – was expected to do the same.

"I thought he was joking at first," Wright said. "I thought I'd show up at Gold's and no one would be there. A little rookie prank on me. It's very flattering for him to take the time to invite myself and Jose."

Wright and Beltran planned a workout for late Wednesday, with the pair expected to proceed with the regimen seven days a week. The drills were described by both players as somewhat less prototypical than your average Joe's workout, with a baseball-style format implemented.

"We're not going to work on our beach muscles," Wright said. "We're just trying to stay on the field all year. It's definitely a goal."

Though Wright is certainly no stranger to work – he reported to Port St. Lucie on Feb. 3, three weeks ahead of time, and once had to be told to stop taking extra batting practice in the Florida State League because he was tiring himself out for night games – it should be interesting to see how Reyes' body can be helped as far as maintenance.

Brimming with talent, Reyes nevertheless has had trouble staying on the field, as he was limited to 53 games last season. He cut short a strengthening regimen with New Orleans-based hamstring expert Mackie Shilstone this offseason to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where he shined.

"I'm ready to go," Reyes said. "I'm just waiting for the games to start, you know?"

If Beltran's plan succeeds, Reyes is looking at about 162 of them, plus October. He is confident that it will.

"I'm going to help those guys," Beltran said. "I want them to join me in training after practice. I want them to be a part of that, if they can come with me and train, and it will help them stay healthy through the whole season."

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