ARLINGTON -- Wilson Betemit had his first pain-free day on Tuesday since going on the disabled list Aug. 16, and that had manager Buck Showalter suddenly more optimistic about whether the infielder could make it back at the end of the month.
Betemit will start the same rehab program as first baseman Jim Thome (herniated disk in neck) in Sarasota, Fla., starting Thursday. Both players will start swinging off a tee and in the cages Thursday and could be ready to start a rehab assignment at the start of next week.
"He had a good day," Showalter said of Betemit. "He's going to start the same offensive progression as Jimmy is."
Showalter was far from optimistic about Betemit's progress Tuesday, but that changed with a positive report from the training staff on Wednesday.