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Cory Spangenberg recalled; Christian Bethancourt outrighted to AAA

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Red-hot infielder comes to the Padres while the struggling utility man goes to work on the farm.

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
Christian Bethancourt tries to pull off a sly funk check. Cameras are always watching.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Padres have announced a roster move that many have been calling for.

Christian Bethancourt’s struggles this season were apparent in every phase of his complicated game. The catcher-turned-relief-pitching-unicorn was tasked with a tall order by switching positions while attempting to fill in wherever help was needed. The experiment showed promise in spring training, but once the season started, he looked out of sorts everywhere he appeared. On the mound, he gave up nine runs (six earned) in 3-2/3 innings spread across four appearances, struggling with control in each. At the plate he was 1-for-7, providing a negative value with the bat, albeit in a very small sample. He didn’t log any time behind the plate as expected before the season, perhaps due to the presence of Hector Sanchez and Luis Torrens on the roster. It’s a good thing that no other teams placed a claim on him while he was on waivers, and now he can go to El Paso to figure out what kind of future he might have in professional baseball. (Side note: Bethancourt’s outright assignment opened a spot on the roster, which now stands at 39 players.)

Cory Spangenberg’s season has been a mirror image of Bethancourt’s. He was optioned to El Paso to start the season, a surprising move that allowed him to get a starter’s share of playing time, rather than splitting time at second and third base with Ryan Schimpf and Yangervis Solarte. All he’s done in the hitter’s paradise is mash .348/.403/.470 with a homer, a triple, and three stolen bases while playing quality defense at third base. With Ryan Schimpf struggling mightily at the plate and Travis Jankowski out with a bone bruise in his foot, Spangenberg could see time at third base or in leftfield. He’s starting at third base tonight:

One of the hottest hitters in the organization is now with the team, a player who has shown promise in the past, only to be frustrated by injuries. Now he gets a chance to earn a regular job. At the same time, a talented yet frustratingly underperforming player has lost his gig and now has to work his way back onto a roster. So are the sands of time, and all we are is dust in the wind.