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05/26/08 1:23 PM ET

Betemit activated from DL

Infielder now hoping to stay healthy and help out Yanks

BALTIMORE -- After enduring a pair of false starts, Wilson Betemit has seen the Yankees' season already progress past the quarter mark without feeling like he's been able to really get started.

The infielder hopes that changes immediately, as Betemit was activated from the 15-day disabled list by New York before Monday's game, reinstated from a mildly strained right hamstring.

"Back-to-back DLs," Betemit said. "Now I have to try to stay healthy."

Betemit played three rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League, going 3-for-10 with one home run and three RBIs. He was also there for five games on rehab when he spent more than three weeks on the disabled list with corneal conjunctivitis.

During his most recent stint on the DL, Betemit obtained a pair of prescription glasses that he was instructed to use while batting in night games. He liked them so much during the rehab games that he will continue to use them all the time.

"They told me to wear it in only night [games], but I'm wearing them day and night because it feels comfortable," Betemit said.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees optioned infielder Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A. Gonzalez had just three hits in his last 20 at-bats and was batting .214 in 17 games, but he helped fill in while Alex Rodriguez was on the DL by showcasing a solid glove.

"He just played really well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously, it's important for him to play every day, but we needed him to play some third [base] for us while Alex was gone, a little bit of short, a little bit of second. He'll go down and have a chance to play every day again, but he'll be back."

With Betemit figuring to man the corner infield positions at the very least, the Yankees also could have made a move concerning Morgan Ensberg, who has five hits in his last 30 at-bats and is hitting just .203.

Girardi said that was not a consideration. In an interesting point, Ensberg essentially made the Yankees out of Spring Training to face left-handed pitching, but he was not in the lineup yet again as the Orioles sent southpaw Garrett Olson to the mound on Monday at Oriole Park.

Girardi acknowledged that Ensberg "had some tough at-bats," but he said, "he's done some stuff for us, too."

In analyzing the Yankees' bench, Girardi also complimented the work of catcher Chad Moeller and infielder-outfielder Shelley Duncan.

"Our bench has been short all year, because a lot of times, it's been three people," Girardi said. "In the American League, your bench doesn't usually get the same amount of time as the National League, so it's a different type of bench. They've done the job."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.