The Padres are continuing to experiment with Christian Bethancourt on the mound, and fans will be able to see the spectacle in person out in Arizona this Spring.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday that the Padres are planning on giving Bethancourt his Cactus League pitching debut in early March. After making a couple of emergency pitching appearances for San Diego in 2016 (both of which were quite impressive for what they were), the team continued to give him mound time throughout the Winter. Bethancourt spent the offseason playing in the Panamanian Winter League splitting time between outfielder, designated hitter, and pitcher.
Reports from Panama tell us that Bethancourt threw up to 97 mph this Winter, though that's not exactly new since he did the same in bullpen sessions and against live hitters last October. He's also been honing his changeup, which could be a great tool in his repertoire.
Here he is pitching in Panama this past January. This particular outing consisted of 17 pitches through one scoreless frame, with his fastball ranging from 93 to 96 mph.
All in all, it's been a seemingly productive offseason for the unicorn that is Christian Bethancourt. Hopefully the Padres decide to send him to the mound in one of this Spring's televised games, so that those of us watching at home can enjoy it.