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?