Where Carlos Beltran will fit in the outfield and how he'll fit into the lineup are decisions manager Mike Matheny plans to make over time, but on the first day Beltran tried on a jersey the former All-Star remained certain he fit with the Cardinals.

"Once Albert (Pujols) left the team and went to Anaheim, I knew that it was probably going to be a good fit for me because they were going to go out and look for a bat," Beltran said Thursday before his first workout with the new team. "It worked out that way. What they did last year (winning the title) was a big factor also, because it's a team that almost every year has been in the playoffs."

Beltran, 34, figures to be the Cardinals' everyday right fielder and Matheny has mused about batting him second in the lineup.

The Cardinals have also considered a lineup that includes Beltran in center field and Allen Craig in right. A Gold Glove-winner in center in 2008, Beltran played solely in right field last season to save wear and tear on his rebuilt knee. Beltran said playing in right allowed him "to stay fresh." Matheny called the results of Beltran's physical "pretty strong," but added that the veteran's return to center isn't a certainty.

"It's going to be ... focusing on how he feels and trusting him," Matheny said. "He understands the position. He's had more repetitions in center field than he has anywhere else. If his body feels right ... let's just see how it goes from there."

Beltran is another season removed from knee surgery, and Thursday he described how this winter he was able to return to weight training and more aggressive workouts. Rehab held him back a year ago. Beltran was limited to two games during spring training with the Mets, and he played the outfield in only one of them. He played 142 games in 2011, and the time he missed was due to a wrist injury, not the knee.

"It is doable. It is doable," Beltran said of playing center regularly. "I am here to be their right fielder. ... Last spring training wasn't as fun as I think it's going to be this year. I'm looking forward to playing a lot more games, to get my timing and feel my legs and body out there."