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Carlos Beltran could miss two months

Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran could miss two months thanks to an elbow injury suffered while taking practice swings in a batting cage.

According to ESPN, Beltran is suffering from painful bone spurs in his elbow. He's had a cortisone shot to try to ease the pain. But if that doesn't work, the only choice left will be to have surgery which would sideline the slugging outfielder and designated hitter for two months.

Beltran, who is hitting .234 with five homers and 15 RBIs, was taking a few cuts in the cages in between at-bats of a game earlier this week during which he was serving as the designated hitter.

The New York Yankees put Beltran on the disabled list hoping that a break would not only help his elbow but also a nagging injury he suffered nearly a month ago when he ran into a side wall while chasing a fly ball. Since he crashed into the wall, Beltran's stats have gone south quickly.

Over the past four weeks he's hit .183 with one home run and six runs batted in. 

Some Cardinals fans have pointed to the loss of Beltran as the reason for the team's epic offensive regression from last year to this season. But it appears the Redbirds dodged the bullet that caught them when they previously tried to hang on to aging stars too long. The Cardinals paid Lance Berkman and Chris Carpenter millions of dollars their last seasons in St. Louis to do virtually nothing after they were sidelined by injuries.

Beltran signed a three-year, $45-million contract with New York over the off-season after rejecting the Cardinals' offer of a one-year deal for about $15 million.