Christian Bethancourt tells Padres he'll try full-time pitching

Veteran Padres catcher Christian Bethancourt, sent down to Triple-A after a failed stint in a hybrid role, has agreed to work on developing as a pitcher in the minor leagues, according to MLB.com.

The Padres' front office was encouraged by Bethancourt's decision, the MLB.com report said, after he was demoted to the El Paso Chihuahuas and given a few days to decide whether he wanted to pitch or catch.

"He said that he would pitch, and we're happy with that decision on his part," Padres manager Andy Green said, according to MLB.com. "We're glad that he feels the same way we feel about it.

"A.J. had taken that off my plate," Green said about GM A.J. Preller. "That was more like an organizational decision. It's something we've invested the last couple of months in, and that's the way we see him in the future."

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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.