By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
5:10 PM EDT, March 25, 2013
One of Wilson Betemit’s best friends in the Orioles’ clubhouse is fellow Dominican native Pedro Strop.
Strop talked about what it was like to watch his friend crumble to the ground after the fifth inning Monday and then be carted off the field with a ligament sprain in his right knee. Betemit had homered in the game and had six RBIs in his past two contests.
“It was hard for me because we are always talking in the offseason, we are in contact, and I know how hard he worked this offseason to get his swing ready and everything," Strop said. "He worked hard. He started working in December. He didn’t even want to play in winter ball because he wanted to prepare his body. For me it was hard to see him laying down there. You can see how good he was swinging the bat too, (sighs). It was just something I didn’t want to see.”
Hard to pitch after that?
“The whole time (after the injury) I was there we were talking about it. It took a lot of attention from us. But I mean … by the time I was pitching in there, I wasn’t thinking about it. I was just trying to make my pitches and everything. But it stole everybody’s attention, everybody was talking about it. I mean, hopefully everything is all right. It’s tough to see one of your teammates (get hurt) and even more when you know how hard he worked for the 2013 season.”
How big of a blow to the team will it be if Betemit is lost for a long period?
“It’s a good bat, but we have some good guys, some good bats, some guys that can hit, like right now you see (Steve) Pearce, Lew Ford, Conor Jackson. Those guys can hit. They are swinging the bat pretty well and one of those guys can fill the hole pretty well. But it would have been better if you have Betemit and then one of those guys too, so you have two bats. I mean, let’s see. Buck is pretty good at filling the holes and I know that’s going to be his job now.”
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