Showalter updates injuries and explains Wieters/Yankees comment

Infielder Wilson Betemit is scheduled to begin an injury-rehab assignment on Aug. 6 with the Gulf Coast League Orioles in Sarasota, according to manager Buck Showalter.

Betemit hasn’t played since tearing the PCL in his right knee during an exhibition game at Ed Smith Stadium. His recovery has been slow, considering that he had hoped to come off the disabled list shortly after the All-Star break.

“We’ll kind of test drive it a little bit to make sure everything’s all right before we take him to a little faster level,” Showalter said.

Jason Hammel’s MRI on his right forearm is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Friday in Baltimore. Hammel was placed on the disabled list yesterday, creating a roster spot for newly acquired pitcher Bud Norris.

Does Norris hold the advantage against the Astros hitters, or is it the other way around?

“Ask me after the game,” Showalter said. “I’ve said many times, a pitcher’s on top of his game, the hitters are on top of their game, the pitcher wins. I don’t care if they’re familiar with him or not. If he’s pitching well, he’ll have some success. If not...

“I think the only advantage you get a little bit is you know more than just the scouting report. I’m talking about, the hitters know and the pitchers know. You know about a guy’s attention to baserunners or his fielding prowess, how he is when there’s some pressure on. They know, he knows. All that peripheral stuff, you’ve got a better feel for. And that’s why we spent more time than just crunching numbers and statistics. You make better decisions when you know the other part of it as much as possible.”

Showalter was asked to clarify comments made in a USA Today article on Alex Rodriguez’s pending suspension and how the Yankees could benefit from shedding the rest of his salary.

“If Bud (Selig) lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax,” Showalter said. “If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”

Showalter said the article was brought to his attention around 2 p.m. today, and that the quote wasn’t meant for “public consumption.” He had completed his pregame media session and was talking to a few reporters while heading outdoors for batting practice.

“You guys know we sit around, we talk all the time about baseball issues because we all kind of love our game and we look at things and talk about it,” he said. “Unfortunately, somebody decided to put it out there publicly. I said it and someone decided to print it. It’s unfortunate. It’s not something you want to...

“I talked to Matt about it because it’s something he’s got to answer today. It just all boils from the idea that we’d like Matt to be with us. We like him.

“It all falls underneath the stating the obvious, I guess. I’ve got enough problems on the field. But we’re all fans of the game. We talk about it. We talk about a lot of things.”

Basically, Showalter was trying to make the point that the Yankees would be rewarded unfairly by Rodriguez’s suspension, and he used Wieters as an example of a player they could spend lavishly on during free agency. He wasn’t making some sort of guarantee that Wieters would be wearing pinstripes.

Wieters downplayed the significance of the quote, saying he was focused only on this season and not his status two years from now.

Showalter said the players in his clubhouse welcome the Biogenesis investigation and Major League Baseball’s continued attempts to clean up the sport.

“I can’t say we’re looking forward to it because it’s going to be tough on our game for a little while,” Showalter said. “I don’t know if there’s some magical date where we can say, ‘This is behind us.’ If you compare it to society, we’re ahead of the curve, but we’re not a normal society, we’re told, so our curve’s got to be different. It’s got to be 100 percent. But I think everybody’s looking forward to... I know, talking to our players, it’s not like they’re ready for it to be over. They’re ready because it kind of soils all of them in their minds.

“I’m not naive, OK? I lost my naivete a long time ago, out in Arizona, the first time I kind of went, ‘What’s going on here?’ I’m excited in a different way that we’ve got some different things in place finally that allows our leadership to do what they’re doing.”

For the Astros
Jonathan Villar SS
LJ Hoes CF
Jason Castro C
Chris Carter DH
Brett Wallace 1B
Marc Krauss RF
Jimmy Paredes 2B
Matt Dominguez 3B
Robbie Grossman LF

Jordan Lyles RHP

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