Padres send hybrid pitcher/catcher Christian Bethancourt to minors

PHOENIX -- The San Diego Padres have outrighted catcher Christian Bethancourt to Triple-A El Paso, ending their experiment of trying to use him as a hitter and a pitcher.

The Padres also recalled infielder Cory Spangenberg from the Chihuahuas on Tuesday.

Bethancourt is a natural catcher, but the Padres have used him as a pitcher the past two seasons. He hit .143 in eight games and appeared in four as a pitcher, going 0-0 with a 14.73 ERA in 3 2/3 innings.

Bethancourt is a career .222 hitter in parts of five big-league seasons and has appeared in six games as a pitcher.

Spangenberg hit .348 with El Paso this season, with seven multi-hit games in his last 11. He was limited to 14 games last season due to a strained left quadriceps.