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Orioles newcomer Wilson Betemit eager to contribute

By Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

10:29 AM EST, February 21, 2012

SARASOTA, Fla.

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New Orioles designated hitter-infielder Wilson Betemit arrived at spring training camp Tuesday, joining a growing list of position players who have arrived at the Ed Smith Stadium complex early.

For Betemit, who is in his sixth organization since 2006, walking into a new clubhouse included seeing some familiar faces. He knows pitchers Pedro Strop and Alfredo Simon, who are fellow Dominicans, and non-roster invitee Oscar Villarreal was a teammate of Betemit’s in Atlanta.

The Orioles signed Betemit to a two-year, $3.25 million contract (plus an vesting option for 2014) with the hopes that his bat would add some pop to Baltimore’s lineup -- especially against right-handed pitching.

Where he plays is yet to be seen. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has said his best position is at the plate, so he’ll likely make most of his starts in the DH slot.

“For me, it’s no matter -- DH, first base, third base,” Betemit said. “That’s why I’m here. Wherever they need me, that’s where I’m going to play and do my job.”

Betemit put up a .285/.343/.452 line last season with Kansas City and Detroit, hitting eight homers with 46 RBIs in 323 at bats.

He has a career .277/.348/.469 line against right-handed pitching, putting up an impressive .303/.365/.500 line against righties last season.