Betemit on Machado: “He’s coming here to play every day”

With Manny Machado starting at third base again tonight, Wilson Betemit is in the lineup, but moving across the diamond to start at first base.

Some veterans may lose a few at-bats to the kid, but that is just how it is when you bring up a prospect and give him playing time. As for Betemit, he said he fully understands the situation and and has no issues with it at all. He can remember when he was the up and coming prospect on the Braves, making his big league debut.

“It was good. Good for him,” Betemit said of Machado’s callup. “I knew about the guy and that he was a big prospect in the minors in the organization. He’s a good player and he’s coming here to play every day. I remember when I was 19 years old and I came into the big leagues and how that felt. He’s got to feel really good right now to get to the majors.

“I’m not moving over there (at first base), I’ve always played all around. Right now in our situation, Machado has to play every day and I know the situation. I always take ground balls at first base.”

Betemit said he doesn’t see it that Machado being here could cost him some at-bats.

“Oh no, no. I’ve been around,” Betemit said. “This is my eighth year in the big leagues and nothing surprises me. My first time in the big leagues was really, really exciting.

“When I got to the big leagues I had some guys in front of me like Chipper Jones and Rafael Furcal. I remember that year I got like six at-bats in one month but they brought me up to see the big leagues in 2001,” he said.

Betemit showed reporters that he has several gloves in his locker and he’s ready to DH or play anywhere he is asked. He did not have a catcher’s mitt in there.

“No, I’ve never caught. I always wait for my opportunity (anywhere). We have a great team here this year and hopefully we’ll make the playoffs,” he said.

Betemit is batting .263 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs and his 323 at-bats this year is the second most he’s ever gotten in a season. He has been sitting against some left-handed starting pitchers and that could continue as his average and OPS is .304/.866 vs. right-handed pitchers and just .145/.419 vs. left-handers.

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