BALTIMORE – Wilson Betemit’s 20-day rehab assignment ends on Monday. There’s a chance that he could be with the Orioles in Boston for the start of the three-game series with the Red Sox.
Betemit, who severely sprained his right knee in the last week of spring training, is finishing his rehab at Norfolk. In 16 games with Gulf Coast, Frederick, Bowie and the Tides, he’s batting .293. He’s hitless in eight at-bats with Norfolk.
“He’s improved. He’s getting there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s a lot better than when he first started. He’s going to get there.”
Showalter knows that the rehab limit is there to protect Betemit, but he wants a healthy player. The Orioles can’t extend the assignment. They can only keep him on the disabled list if there’s a new injury.
“We want him here when he’s right. Sometimes, with an injury like his, you run the risk that you could get him back too early,” Showalter said.
Betemit, who’s not likely to play in the field, has been working at first and third base. At Norfolk, he’s been a designated hitter.
The Orioles will speak with Betemit’s agent and Betemit before making a final decision.
Jason Hammel threw 60 pitches in the bullpen Sunday morning. He’ll start for Bowie on Thursday and will throw 45 pitches.