Hammel, Betemit nearing return to action

Hammel, Betemit nearing return to action

BALTIMORE -- Pitcher Jason Hammel threw 58 pitches in his second simulated game Monday afternoon and the plan is for him to go five innings in a rehab game Saturday as the Orioles continue to cautiously target a Sept. 6 return.

"This is another level," manager Buck Showalter said of why the club is having Hammel make at least one rehab appearance, likely for high Class A Frederick. "He's been out of this for a while. It's one thing to get him and Troy [Patton] back, it's another thing to know what level of performance you're going to get.

"It's not a given that just because they're back, they're going to pick up right where they left off. As many things as we can get a cheat sheet on before he comes back here, that's important. That's why we're trying to add some depth. I don't think anyone here assumes that Ham's going to pick up where he left off."

If Hammel, who had surgery on his right knee in July, does return on Sept. 6, he will likely be limited to the six-inning range.

The Orioles could also be helped by the return of Wilson Betemit as early as Saturday. Betemit, who is rehabbing an injured right wrist, joined the team Monday to hit outside and the plan is for him to go on a rehab assignment Wednesday.

"I want to see [how it feels] because I didn't get a chance to hit outside in Florida," said Betemit, who has been sidelined since Aug. 12. "They said today to see how it feels."