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 Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER

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PostSubject: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:31 am




Wilson Betemit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wilson Betemit (pronounced Bay-tah-mee)[1] (born November 2, 1981 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican professional baseball infielder for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He has previously played for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Kansas City Royals.

Baseball career

Betemit is a 1996 graduate of Juan Bautista Safra High School, where he played baseball. He was signed as an undrafted free agent shortstop by the Atlanta Braves on July 28, 1996 when he was 14 and a half years old. According to Major League Baseball's age restrictions regarding the signing of minors, teams are not allowed to sign anyone under the age of sixteen. Because of this rule violation, the Braves were fined $100,000 and prohibited from scouting and signing players from the Dominican Republic for six months in 2000.[2]


Atlanta Braves


He began his professional career in 1997 with the Gulf Coast Braves.

In 1999, he was the Player of the Year for the Danville Braves of the Rookie League, and Appalachian League All-Star shortstop after batting .320 in 67 games, though he made 33 errors in 67 games.

In 2000, with the Jamestown Jammers, he hit .331 and was named the Braves' # 1 Minor League Prospect by Baseball America, as well as the Short-Season A Player of the Year and All-Star shortstop.

Betemit started 2001 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in Advanced-A ball (hitting the first inside-the-park home run in Pelicans history on June 11), and was promoted mid-season to the Greenville Braves in AA. He hit .355 with Greenville, and was named the Braves top prospect for the second year in a row. He was also the Braves Minor League Player of the Year, the Florida State League All-Star shortstop, and the Baseball America 2nd team minor league all-star shortstop.

Called up to the Braves in September, he made his major league debut on September 18, 2001, as a pinch runner against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was 0 for 8 for the Braves in limited pinch hitting opportunities.

In 2002, he was sent to the AAA Richmond Braves to start the season, but spent significant portions of the season on the disabled list due to various ailments. Despite a sub-par, injury-ridden season, he was still named the Braves second-best pro prospect after the season.

He spent most of 2003 and 2004 with Richmond, but appeared in 22 games with the Braves in 2004, recording his first Major League hit on May 8 against the Houston Astros.

Betemit finally broke out in 2005 as the Braves' principal reserve infielder, frequently filling in at third base for the Braves' oft-injured star third baseman Chipper Jones, hitting .305 for the season. He hit his first career home run on April 27 against New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine.

In the offseason, following shortstop Rafael Furcal's free agency in the winter of 2005, the Braves considered giving Betemit the starting shortstop job. However, they decided instead to trade for shortstop Edgar Rentería from the Boston Red Sox. Betemit continued to play a valuable role for the Braves as a pinch hitter and backup for second baseman Marcus Giles, Rentería, and Chipper Jones.


Los Angeles Dodgers

On July 28, 2006, Betemit was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for relief pitcher Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar. He made his debut for the Dodgers on July 30, 2006, playing third base against the Washington Nationals. He finished the season with a batting average of .241 with 9 home runs and 24 RBI.

He was expected to be the Dodgers starting third baseman in 2007, but poor play resulted in his becoming a part-time starter and pinch hitter. He hit pinch hit home runs in consecutive games against the Braves in May 2007. He hit 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 84 games.


New York Yankees

On July 31, 2007, the Dodgers traded Betemit to the New York Yankees for relief pitcher Scott Proctor.[3] On August 2, 2007, Betemit homered in his first Yankee at bat while filling in at shortstop for Derek Jeter and was given a curtain call by the fans in attendance.[4] His entrance song is Pearl Jam's "Better Man." On May 9, 2008, Betemit was the victim of Detroit Tigers's pitcher Kenny Rogers' record setting 92nd career pickoff.


Chicago White Sox

On November 13, 2008 Betemit, and minor league pitchers Jeffrey Marquez and Jhonny Núñez were traded to the Chicago White Sox for first baseman Nick Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira.[5]

On June 3, 2009, the White Sox designated Betemit for assignment to call up prized prospect Gordon Beckham.[6]


Kansas City Royals

On November 12, 2009 Betemit signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals. He began the 2010 season with Kansas City's Class AAA affiliate, the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League.

He hit home runs from both sides of the plate on June 10 in a 9-8 win against Minnesota Twins.


Detroit Tigers

On July 20, 2011, Betemit was traded to the Detroit Tigers for left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz and catcher Julio Rodriguez.[7]


Fielding

At the time of his trade to the Yankees, in his career Betemit had played 202 games at third base, 57 at shortstop, and 12 at second base, as well as 1-2/3 uneventful innings in right field. On August 4, 2007, Betemit started his first career game at first base for the Yankees.


Walk-Up Music

During home baseball games, Betemit walks to the plate with the song Better Man by Pearl Jam playing in the background. It is a play off his last name, which almost sounds like the lyrics.


Date of birth

There is some confusion surrounding Betemit's date of birth. His official Player Profile on MLB.com used to list it as 1980-07-28, while other sources, including his information page on respected statistics site Baseball-Reference.com, have it as 1981-11-02. An article from February 2000 in the Savannah Morning News offers an explanation for the discrepancy.


Pronunciation of last name

The pronunciation of Betemit's last name has been a matter of some debate among baseball broadcasters and fans. Betemit has stated that he pronounces his name the way it is pronounced in his native Dominican Republic, i.e. "Bay-tah-mee", not "Bet-eh-mitt". ("The 't' is silent," he explains.)[1] However, Betemit has also said that he does not especially care that many American baseball broadcasters have "Americanized" his name by pronouncing the "t".

In an interview in 2006, Atlanta Braves announcer Joe Simpson related that he had asked Betemit about halfway through that season how to pronounce his name, and when told the answer, apologized to him, saying, "I've been pronouncing your name wrong all this time, but I'm gonna pronounce it right from now on!"


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:42 am

Tigers acquire Betemit for two prospects
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on July 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

The Tigers remain on the lookout for a starting pitcher on the trade market, but they decided they couldn’t wait any longer to find some offense at third base. Detroit swung a deal Wednesday to add veteran infielder Wilson Betemit from Kansas City for prospects Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez.

The move fills a void at the hot corner, where Brandon Inge’s struggles — first with mononucleosis, then with his bat and energy level since — had become a lingering issue. It also puts Brandon Inge’s future as the longest-tenured current Tiger into question.

“We like Betemit,” Dombrowski said. “We feel like he upgrades us at third base at this time. We’re in a position where, you know, we’ve scuffled offensively at that spot.”

Once a highly-touted infield prospect with the Braves, Betemit has found a fit as a corner infielder with some pop, bouncing around teams. His .297 averagewith 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 84 games last year with Kansas City helped him find a fit there.

That put the 29-year-old Betemit in a position to get a good share of playing time with the Royals at the start of this season. However, he was a placeholder for Royals third-base prospect Mike Moustakas. Once Kansas City called him up last month, Betemit was out of a role.

Betemit batted .281 (57-for-203) this year with 15 doubles, three homers and 27 RBIs. His .750 OPS is 139 points lower than last year, but higher than in any season since 2007.

By comparison, five different Tigers had combined at third base for a .186 average, a .500 OPS, two home runs, 27 RBIs and 79 strikeouts in 334 at-bats.

“He has swung the bat well the last couple years with Kansas City,” Dombrowski said. “He’s a very solid third baseman. He’s got a good arm over there, probably a little bit better left-handed hitter than right-handed hitter, but he is a switch-hitter and he’s got pop on both sides of the plate. He puts fear in us any time he comes to the plate, can drive in a run.

“He’s going to be hitting at the bottom of the lineup, so it’s a spot where all of a sudden you have a guy like that down below that can add, from an offensive perspective, we feel good about that.”

He’ll get a good share of at-bats to build on those numbers in Detroit.

Betemit is working on a one-year contract worth $1 million for the season.

Dombrowski hinted that they had been working on other options at third base. Those options dried up, though, and with Inge’s 0-for-4 game Wednesday dropping his average to .177 on the season, the Tigers made their move.

“It’s a tough situation,” Dombrowski said. “Brandon has done a lot for the organization. We would not have signed him this winter if we didn’t think he was going to come out and he was going to do very well for us, or do solidly. We never projected him to be a .300 hitter, but thought he’s come out and be a guy that could hit .230 or .240 with some home runs and play real good defense and maybe drive in runs. It hasn’t happened this year, and I think we’re at the point where playing him every day, we just don’t see it happening right now.”

The aforementioned contract was a two-year, $11.5 million deal signed last November, which plays a big role in any decision the Tigers make on Inge. Judging from Dombrowski’s remarks, it appears contracts played a role in the Tigers’ trade options as well.

“It’s just come to a point where it’s decision time in the sense that you get to July 31 and you may not be able to make a move,” Dombrowski said. “I was talking to a couple other clubs, but one primarily about a third baseman that isn’t going to go anywhere, so really your choices at third base are really limited if you’re going to do something. So we didn’t want to get caught where we were sitting there and you come to July 31 and all of a sudden you say, ‘Well, he’s still scuffling at this point, what do we do at this time?” It was the right time to make the move and Kansas City was willing to do it.”

Betemit is scheduled to join the team on Thursday in Minnesota, where the Tigers will open a four-game series against the Twins. Dombrowski said they’ll add Betemit to the active roster then. They have the room on the 40-man roster to fit him, but they’ll have to take somebody off the 25-man roster to create space.

Dombrowski also deferred questions about Inge’s future role on the team to Thursday.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:40 am

Ties may smooth Betemit's transition
By Jordan Schelling / MLB.com | 07/21/11 8:30 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Being traded within the same division, Wilson Betemit was pretty familiar with the Tigers before joining the club on Thursday at Target Field. But the connections between Betemit and the Tigers go beyond just the familiarity of divisional opponents.

Betemit was a teammate of right-hander Brad Penny while both were members of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he also played with fellow infielder Ramon Santiago in the Dominican Winter League.

"I'm happy to be here," Betemit said. "I've got a lot of friends on this team, and I'm happy to be here today."

Another connection that Betemit discussed before Thursday's game was between him and Tigers bench coach Rafael Belliard.

Before joining the Tigers coaching staff, Belliard was a roving infield instructor in the Atlanta Braves organization from 2000-05. Betemit was a top prospect for the Braves, signing with them at age 15 in 1997 and spending all or part of four seasons in the Major Leagues with the Braves in 2001 and 2004-06.

Belliard also played a large role in Betemit's move from shortstop to third base when the Braves decided they wanted him to switch positions.

"I always played shortstop," Betemit said. "Working with Rafael Belliard at that time when I was moving to third base helped me a lot."

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:45 am

Betemit eager to contribute to Tigers' run
By Jordan Schelling / MLB.com | 07/21/11 8:30 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- On his first day with the Tigers, third baseman Wilson Betemit was in the lineup on Thursday at Target Field, batting ninth.

Betemit said he was not surprised by Wednesday's trade, and that he was happy to be with the Tigers.

After a strong 2010 season, Betemit opened the season as the Royals' starting third baseman, hitting .281 (57-for-203) with 15 doubles, three home runs and 27 RBIs. But once Kansas City called up prospect Mike Moustakas last month, his role changed.

"I knew this was going to happen," Betemit said. "The guy, Moustakas, is playing every day, and they were talking about trading me. I didn't know they were going to trade me here, and I didn't know it was going to happen this soon, but now I'm here and it's time to play."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he always liked what he saw out of Betemit when the veteran infielder was in the opposing dugout.

Now, he hopes to see the same with Betemit taking over at third base,
a position that has been a weakness in the Tigers' lineup this season.

"He's somebody that I've always respected when I'm in the other dugout," Leyland said. "I worry about him when he steps in there. I hope I don't have to worry about him anymore when he steps in there."

Betemit said one of the things he liked best about the trade was not having to face Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander anymore. They had faced each other only once before, but Verlander won that battle with a strikeout.

"Oh yeah, that's what we talked about earlier," Betemit said. "He's a great pitcher. He's unbelievable."


Another aspect of Betemit's addition that Leyland said he was happy with was the fact that the Tigers now have three switch hitters in their lineup, with Betemit joining catcher Victor Martinez and second baseman Carlos Guillen.

Betemit talked with reporters about how he initially preferred to bat only right-handed when he was a Braves prospect.

"When I was with the Braves, I didn't like to hit lefty," Betemit said. "My first game, against a righty you're supposed to hit lefty, but I hit righty. I was like, 'I don't like to hit lefty,' and they told me, 'No, you're going to hit lefty.'

"My first year, I hit like .220, my second year I hit .270. ... Then my third year, I hit like .320, and then the other one .340. Then they said, 'See? We told you you're going to hit lefty.' Then they told me, 'You want to hit righty?' I said, 'No, I'm OK.'"

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:28 am

Betemit returns to KC wearing new duds
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 08/05/11 8:24 PM ET

KANSAS CITY -- Two weeks ago, this was home for Wilson Betemit. Now, it's a stop on the Tigers' road trip.

Still, when the Tigers landed in town on Thursday night, it felt a little bit like the start of a homestand for the former Royal.

"When I come here, I feel like I'm still home," said Betemit, who spent a season and a half in Kansas City before the Tigers acquired him for prospects on July 24.

The difference, as he points out, is he's a Tiger now, and he's happy for that.

"It's the same," Betemit said. "Come here, give 100 percent."

Betemit got his chance to do that rather quickly. He was in the Tigers' starting lineup on Friday at third base, batting ninth against former teammate Felipe Paulino.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:43 am



Betemit's homer

07/28/11 - 00:48

Wilson Betemit hits his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center field


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:04 am

Betemit feeling better, not sure when he'll return
By Chris Vannini / MLB.com | 09/22/11 8:14 PM ET

DETROIT -- Third baseman Wilson Betemit has not played since tweaking his left knee on a slide at home plate Friday.

Manager Jim Leyland was confident Betemit would be returning soon.

"I'm expecting that hopefully he'll be ready to play tomorrow," said Leyland.

But Betemit was not so sure, saying he was feeling better but would not know if he would be ready for Friday until working out prior to Thursday's series opener vs. the Orioles.

"I will have to go see," he said.

Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:30 pm

Betemit on track to return Monday
By Jason Beck and Chris Vannini / MLB.com | 09/25/11 1:41 PM ET

DETROIT -- Wilson Betemit appears ready to return after tweaking his left knee in a home-plate slide on Sept. 16 in Oakland.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Saturday that Betemit likely would be good to go on Sunday, but that may have been before he realized the Orioles were sending lefty Brian Matusz to the mound.

Betemit, who has been used primarily against right-handed starters since Brandon Inge returned, was not in Sunday's lineup.

However, Leyland said Betemit would play Monday against the Indians. The skipper hopes he will start in all three remaining regular-season games.

In other injury-related news, Carlos Guillen remains unable to play, but Leyland did not rule him out of being able to play in the postseason.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:22 am

Betemit has setback with left knee
By Jason Beck and Chris Vannini / MLB.com | 09/26/11 8:20 PM ET

DETROIT -- Wilson Betemit came to Comerica Park early on Monday with a plan to start at third base, his first start in a week and a half. It was supposed to be his first of three games to get ready for the postseason. Then he tried to push off with his left knee moving for a ball.

Now his situation is a question mark once again, and his manager is increasingly concerned.

"He's not right," Leyland said. "I'm worried about Betemit. And I'll leave it at that."


Betemit sounded a little less concerned as he tried to clear up his own situation, but nonetheless anxious. He played in three straight Division Series with the Braves and Dodgers from 2004-06, and he has a very good chance to start for the Tigers in this one coming up. But he has to be healthy to do it.

He thought he was. Right now, he said, his knee is "so-so."

"I went out today to go work on the field," Betemit said, "and I felt something push on my knee."

That halted the plans for his return. Team doctors were scheduled to examine him at Comerica Park later Monday to try to determine why the swelling in his knee persists.

Betemit was diagnosed a week ago with inflammation in the knee. He still has swelling on the inside of the knee, which is where he felt the problem when he went to push off. He also feels discomfort, he said, when he goes into an all-out sprint. He feels fine when he's batting.

"Hopefully, I'll be fine," Betemit said, "because I want to play. I have to do everything I can to play."

With Betemit out, Don Kelly started at third base for the third time in the last four days and the fifth time in Detroit's last eight games. Cleveland has right-handed pitchers starting every game in this series to end the regular season, so it's uncertain whether Brandon Inge, Detroit's defensive replacement and part-time starter at third, might get a start.

Once the postseason begins, that question becomes a lot more interesting, depending on the opponent. The Yankees, for instance, are expected to start lefty CC Sabathia to open their Division Series, then have a handful of right-handed candidates.

Leyland is keeping pretty mum on his postseason roster, and he isn't going to map out how the Tigers would replace Betemit if he can't go. While team officials met Monday to discuss the roster, among other topics, they didn't announce anything. Kelly could be a big part of it, but dedicating him to third base would also take a candidate out of right field. The Tigers also have infielder Danny Worth, but he has played all of four innings at third base this month since rejoining the club from Triple-A Toledo.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:27 am

Betemit homers in return to Tigers' lineup
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/27/11 8:45 PM ET

DETROIT -- Wilson Betemit's sore left knee felt well enough to return to the starting lineup for the first time in a week and a half Tuesday. His 423-foot home run in his second at-bat gave him enough time for a nice, easy trot rather than a sprint.

A day after doctors examined the swelling in Betemit's left knee, he was significantly better. It had hampered his running since his slide into home plate Friday night at Oakland, but he said it didn't affect his hitting, much to Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez's chagrin.

Betemit batted second on Tuesday, mainly in an effort to get him an extra at-bat. He's expected to start Wednesday's regular-season finale as well. As long as he feels fine, he'll be on the playoff roster when the Tigers submit it ahead of Thursday's 10 a.m. ET deadline.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:24 am



What's next for these Tigers?

Wilson Betemit,

third base

2011: He was a stopgap acquisition after Brandon Inge’s bat had gone into oblivion. He helped, but always was viewed as a short-term addition.

Contract: Free agent

2012: Likely will be playing elsewhere as the Tigers try to shore up their overall infield offense.

John T. Greilick/The Detroit News


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PostSubject: Re: Wilson Betemit CAREER TRACKER   Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:41 pm

Orioles come to terms with free agent Betemit
Versatile player offers Showalter multiple options, adds depth
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com | 01/24/12 11:25 AM EST

BALTIMORE -- Less than four weeks before Spring Training begins, the Orioles got their versatile designated hitter in Wilson Betemit, agreeing Tuesday on the terms of a two-year contract with a 2014 vesting option with the free agent.

The 30-year-old Betemit is a switch-hitter who is particularly effective against right-handed pitching, posting a career .817 OPS in that category, and comes with a history of high on-base percentage -- a statistic both executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter place heavy emphasis on.

"Wilson has played for a number of teams, but he's excelled in the American League, and I just think there's good value in his bat to help our team for more than a year," Duquette said of the multiyear signing, which, based on plate appearances in 2012 and '13, could stretch to the '14 season. "He'll play this year at 30 [years old], and the contract gives him incentive to perform at a high level."

Betemit rebounded from tough 2009 season with the White Sox, spending the past two years with Kansas City and Detroit and hitting a combined .290 with a .838 OPS. He is primarily an infielder, but he could play the outfield if needed and gives the O's a flexible option at DH, an avenue that Showalter preferred after having Vladimir Guerrero fill the role last season.

While Betemit does offer bench flexibility, and another potential leadoff option if Brian Roberts (concussion) can't stay healthy, Duquette said Tuesday his primary position will be DH.

"We like Wilson Betemit for his bat," Duquette said. "He came up as a shortstop [with Atlanta]. His best position is batting."

That is also a position at which the Orioles feel the 30-year-old is still improving. Originally signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 28, 1996, Betemit was the youngest player in the Major Leagues when he made his debut at 19 during the 2001 season.

Over a nine-year career, Betemit owns a .269 average, .336 on-base percentage and .448 slugging percentage with 63 home runs and 243 RBIs in 697 games with the Braves, Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox, Royals and Tigers.

"We thought there was good value for him to complement our club," Duquette said. "From the left side against right-handed pitching, he's very valuable. It looked to me like the last couple years, Wilson is really learning how to hit and how to leverage his power."

Betemit's signing turns the Orioles' immediate attention to upgrading the bullpen, and although Duquette didn't mention specifics, the team is still interested in closer Fransisco Cordero and figures to add several more relievers to foster bullpen competition in camp.

To clear room for Betemit on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Rick VandenHurk was been designated for assignment. VandenHurk, 26, pitched to an 8.00 ERA in four games for the Orioles and was 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Norfolk in 2011.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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