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Bethancourt's versatility a potential game-changer?

Utility player aiming to add pitching to repertoire in camp
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If the Christian Bethancourt experiment comes to fruition, the possibilities are endless for Padres manager Andy Green.

Bethancourt -- who will pitch Saturday against Arizona as he continues his conversion into a pitcher/catcher/outfielder hybrid -- could give the Padres immense roster flexibility as a super-utility man. He could also provide Green with a number of options for in-game substitutions, some of which would be uncharted territory for a manager.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If the Christian Bethancourt experiment comes to fruition, the possibilities are endless for Padres manager Andy Green.

Bethancourt -- who will pitch Saturday against Arizona as he continues his conversion into a pitcher/catcher/outfielder hybrid -- could give the Padres immense roster flexibility as a super-utility man. He could also provide Green with a number of options for in-game substitutions, some of which would be uncharted territory for a manager.

Spring Training info

For one, Green could have the option to use Bethancourt on the mound for a certain matchup, while having him play the outfield for another. Green might also have the chance to double switch for the pitcher's spot to bat in the following inning. (The opposite is almost always true.)

"We'll figure out a way to navigate it," Green said. "Those are the simple parts. The hard part, honestly, is he's got a lot of work to do to prove that he's a Major League-caliber pitcher. He's got the makings of that. But he's got a short window to make that happen. That's where our focus resides right now -- not necessarily on the novelty of what he'd bring if he got it done."

One of the most intriguing potential maneuvers would be for Bethancourt to pitch to one batter and catch for the next. That scenario, while unlikely, isn't impossible to fathom.

It would take an obscure double-switch, in which Bethancourt is the best option on the bench and the pitcher's spot is due up in the next half-inning. It would also mean the starting catcher -- typically Austin Hedges -- had just batted.

"It's a possibility, anything is possible," Green said. "You take him out of the game as a pitcher and have Hedgy take his gear off, have Christian put his on. It'd be funny, but I don't know that it's practical. I don't know that it's the smartest move. But anything's a possibility, and in certain settings, everything makes some sense."

Video: Bethancourt discusses preparing for a dual role

In his spring pitching debut on Wednesday, Bethancourt pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning against the A's. By design, he has yet to appear at catcher, as the Padres have allotted most of his time this spring to the mound.

Edwards shelved with forearm tightness

Padres right-hander Jon Edwards is battling forearm tightness and will be held out of game action for the foreseeable future. The tightness occurred during Thursday's game against Arizona as Edwards was warming up in the bullpen.

"He didn't feel anything acute," Green said. "He wasn't necessarily worried about his elbow. He just felt some tightness in his forearm, so he backed off. He seemed somewhat optimistic today."

The injury is particularly concerning for Edwards, who missed the 2016 season because of a flexor strain in his right elbow. That, too, came about during Spring Training. He did not have surgery, opting instead for a platelet-rich plasma/stem cell injection and rehab.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Christian Bethancourt