Wilson Betemit has been a useful cog in the bottom half of the Baltimore order this year, but the Orioles will have to do without him for the foreseeable future after he was diagnosed with torn cartilage and a bone bruise in his right wrist.
He was placed on the DL retroactive to Aug. 12 and replaced by first baseman Joe Mahoney on the roster. Betemit was hitting .264/.327/.429 with 12 homers and 37 RBI in 329 at-bats this season. As usual, the switch-hitter was doing much better against righties (.306/.363/.510) than lefties (.143/.223/.190).
Fortunately, with Manny Machado up and off to a fantastic start, Betemit looks a little more expendable that he would have a few weeks ago. Machado had already replaced him at third base, with Betemit recently getting his starts at first base and DH. Nate McLouth figures to take a lot of Betemit’s at-bats, with Chris Davis spending more time at DH.
LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.
Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.
Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.