LOS ANGELES: The San Diego Padres’ 16-4 defeat to the Mariners in Seattle on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) was nothing to celebrate, but at least it gave catcher Christian Bethancourt a chance to demonstrate his versatility.
With Seattle up by 12 runs and Padres manager Andy Green seeking to preserve his bullpen, Bethancourt made his professional pitching debut in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Bethancourt, who had already moved form behind the plate to left field in the fifth frame, fired a 92 mph fastball for a called strike.
His next three pitches — clocked at 93 mph, 95 mph and 87 mph – were balls. Seattle’s Stefen Romero fouled off a 93 mph heater before Bethancourt reached back for a bit extra. Romero flied out to right on a 96 mph fastball.
“We had no idea how high [Bethancourt’s velocity] would be,” Green said. “We knew it would be hard.
“We also knew there was absolutely no mechanics in it. It was just 96 in the arm, not even trying. It’s pretty impressive.”
Bethancourt, 24, estimated it had been at least a decade since he had pitched in a game.
“It was definitely fun,” he said. “It’s something I guess a lot of us position players want to do at some point, just to get out there and see how it feels.”