Catcher Christian Bethancourt makes San Diego Padres 25man roster as relief pitcher

 

Catcher Christian Bethancourt makes San Diego Padres 25man roster as relief pitcher

The San Diego Padres will feature one of the most unique players in the majors this season. Christian Bethancourt, a catcher by trade, will do a bit of everything. He will catch, he will play outfield, he will pinch hit and he will serve as a relief pitcher. Yes, a relief pitcher. He made the Opening Day 25-man roster as the club's eighth and final relief pitcher. "That's the way we're looking at him primarily right now https://www.seattlemarinersstore.com/marc_rzepczynski_jersey-35," Padres manager Andy Green told reporters. "The eighth bullpen arm, which, when you look at our schedule, is incredibly necessary. He gives us a flexibility that no other bullpen arm can do, which is pinch-hit capabilities and cover the field capably." Bethancourt's budding pitcher career began somewhat accidentally last season when the Padres were suffering through blowout losses. In a 15-day span, he was twice called upon to finish up games against the Seattle Mariners (May 31) and Miami Marlins (June 14). He didn't allow a run in 1 2 3 innings and hit 96 mph on the radar gun. The Padres asked Bethancourt to throw some innings in his native Panama during winter league and they were convinced he could compete for a roster spot in spring training. The 25-year-old Bethancourt didn't disappoint as he allowed just two runs and four hits in 9 2 3 spring innings. He is now in position to make major league history. According to MLB, no player has ever caught five or more games and pitched five or more games in the same season. Bethancourt is embracing his new role https://www.seattlemarinersstore.com/mike_zunino_jersey-36. "You've got to be ready for any situation at any time," Bethancourt said. "I've known since last year my role was going to be different pitching, catching, playing the outfield, pinch-hitter. So I see myself just trying to be ready and prepared for anything, anytime." Last season, Bethancourt caught 41 games (35 starts), played in 12 (seven starts) as an outfielder and appeared in one game as a second baseman. He batted .228 with six homers and 25 RBIs. Now his role has an added component to it and Bethancourt is excited to see how it plays out. His pitching repertoire includes a fastball, curveball and changeup. "I'm as comfortable as I can be," Bethancourt said. "I feel pretty confident in my stuff. I've still got more to learn and (can) get more confident pitching in the major leagues. But it's not like I've never been there. "It's just at a different position, a different perspective. I'm not going to be nervous. It's not like I've never been in the major leagues."

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