On Monday in a Spring Training game vs the visiting Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles utility man, Wilson Betemit injured his right knee running the bases. As he was running to second base his knee appeared to buckle causing Betemit to collapse and eventually requiring him to get carted off the field. In what appeared to be a gruesome injury at first glance, the initial diagnosis was a sprained right knee ligament.
Last season Betemit was an essential piece to the Orioles run to the playoffs. Before rookie Manny Machado was called up, Betemit was the guy primarily holding down the hot corner. Now with Machado staying put in the big leagues, Betemit’s services will be used at a variety of positions including first base and designated hitter.
With opening day just a week away, the timing could not be worse. Although it may actually make things easier on the Orioles front office personnel when it comes to finalizing the 25-man roster. If Betemit is unable to go, there are a few guys that could fill in during his absence including hot hitting Ryan Flaherty. Other options include non-roster invitees Chris Dickerson, Conor Jackson or Steve Pearce who have been impressive so far this Spring.
It also doesn’t help that the 31-year old Betemit has been anything but impressive this preseason. Betemit is batting just .216 (8 for 37) in 13 games played with just one home run. Hopefully the injury does not turn out to be anything more than the initial sprained ligament diagnosis.