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07/31/08 8:36 PM ET

Betancourt sits Thursday's game

Infielder still feeling soreness in right elbow

ARLINGTON -- The first Mariners lineup posted on the bulletin board inside the visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington had "Betancourt, SS" in the ninth-hole.

But almost two hours before the first pitch, the lineup sheet came down and a new one went up.

Betancourt's name no longer was among the nine starters, but it had nothing to do with him missing a bunt attempt, making an error, low on-base percentage or swinging wildly at pitches out of the strike zone.

"I sat him down on [Wednesday night] and put him in the lineup today," manager Jim Riggleman said. "I had noticed yesterday that when we were taking batting practice, he didn't make any throws or anything and sure enough, his elbow is a little tender."

And so, just to make sure the soreness doesn't get worse, Riggleman adjusted his lineup, moving Willie Blooomquist from center field to shortstop and inserting Jeremy Reed into the lineup as the No. 9 hitter.

"We don't think it's anything serious," Riggleman said. "I wasn't here, but I understand he had some tenderness there last year."

Betancourt, batting .255 with three home runs, 30 RBIs, six walks in 364 official at-bats, two stolen bases and a team-leading 15 errors, has been told to improve his .267 on-base percentage or he will get more time off than he wants.

"He'll be off tonight and probably [Friday]," Riggleman said, "and we'll go from there."

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