Wilson Betemit is in the Gulf Coast League Orioles lineup today, batting second and serving as the designated hitter.
Betemit drew a walk in the top of the first inning against GCL Red Sox left-hander Gabe Speier, a 19th-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Dos Pueblos (Ca.) High School.
This is Betemit’s first game since he tore the PCL in his right knee in a March 25 exhibition game against the Red Sox and was carted off the Ed Smith Stadium field. He’s batting from the right side today against Speier, adding to the challenge of his day.
Betemit led the Orioles last season with a .302 average against right-handers to go with a .357 on-base percentage and .502 slugging percentage. He hit .140/.219/.186 vs. left-handers.
The Orioles haven’t announced how many games Betemit will spend in the Gulf Coast League before being transferred to a higher affiliate. Cliche alert: They’re taking it one game at a time.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated last week that Betemit would remain the DH for at least a few days before playing in the field.
Betemit’s rehab assignment can last a maximum of 20 days unless he gives permission to extend it, at which point the Orioles could wait until rosters expand on Sept. 1 to activate him.
Left-hander Josh Hader, traded to the Astros along with outfielder LJ Hoes for pitcher Bud Norris, made his debut last night for the Quad Cities River Bandits and allowed one hit in six scoreless innings, with no walks and two strikeouts.
Not everyone in the organization was comfortable with trading away Hader, a 19th-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Old Mill High School in Millersville, Md. He was quickly developing into one of the Orioles’ top pitching prospects.
The Baltimore Orioles, OriolesREACH, Showalter and his wife Angela have partnered with KidsPeace to host the fourth annual Trick-or-Trot 5K/1-Mile Walk on Nov. 2.
Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume for the race, which begins and ends at Camden Yards and enjoy a post-race party with the Oriole Bird. The event starts at 8 a.m. and benefits youth in foster care.
“Angela and I are proud to once again host the KidsPeace Trick-or-Trot event,” Showalter said in a press release issued by the Orioles. “KidsPeace provides crucial support and services for foster children and families, a cause that has special meaning for both of us. This event will help raise needed funds to provide a bright future for foster children in our area.”
Gift certificates will be awarded for top runners, age group winners and best costumes. The top three fundraising teams will win prizes, such as Showalter’s suite for a 2014 season Orioles game on a mutually agreed upon date (food/beverage not included). The top individual fundraiser will earn the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles’ home game on Sept. 26.
Visit www.kidspeace5k.org by Aug. 15 to run the 5K, and the $35 early registration entrance fee will include a ticket to the Orioles’ game against Toronto on Sept. 26. Additional game tickets for friends/family and walkers are available for purchase. The early registration entrance fee for walkers is $20 for adults and $15 for youth 3 to 14. There is no fee for children 2 and younger. The first 500 runners registered will receive an UnderArmour T-shirt.
All proceeds from the race benefit KidsPeace Foster Care and Community Programs of Maryland and Washington D.C. including KEYS (KidsPeace Empowering Youth to Succeed), a program that prepares youth for independence through life-skills training. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the race. For more information, call 410-964-9329.