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Catcher Bethancourt pitching spring no-hitter

MLB.com @AJCassavell

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Christian Bethancourt is pitching a Cactus League no-hitter.

That's not to say his transition into a catcher/pitcher hybrid has been flawless. But -- considering Bethancourt spent his first eight professional seasons exclusively behind the plate -- it's gone about as well as the Padres could have hoped.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Christian Bethancourt is pitching a Cactus League no-hitter.

That's not to say his transition into a catcher/pitcher hybrid has been flawless. But -- considering Bethancourt spent his first eight professional seasons exclusively behind the plate -- it's gone about as well as the Padres could have hoped.

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The 25-year-old right-hander tossed a scoreless eighth inning Friday on 18 pitches, as the Padres beat the Angels, 4-2. He allowed a walk and finished the frame with a strikeout of Halos third baseman Kaleb Cowart.

Perhaps expectedly, Bethancourt's command has been a bit shaky. But at this point, that's nitpicking. Through 3 1/3 spring innings, he has walked two and hasn't allowed a run or a hit.

Video: MEX@SD: Bethancourt comes in, closes out the game

"It's kind of scattershot with the fastball right now," Padres manager Andy Green said. "But he's harnessing enough of the power, and getting in the zone enough to get hitters. There's some good things there."

Bethancourt also induced a pair of weak groundballs. He still hasn't given up any truly hard contact this spring. Friday marked his fourth appearance as a pitcher -- though he has yet to appear behind the plate. The Padres have decided to give him the bulk of his workload on the mound, considering he's already spent so much of his career behind the plate.

Ultimately, the goal is for Bethancourt to split time between the two -- with some outfield and pinch-hitting sprinkled in. That type of versatility could provide some pivotal roster flexibility.

So far, so good.

"There's a lot of things to like with him [on the mound]," Green said. "I like the fact that he's attacking. There's no fear."

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

San Diego Padres, Christian Bethancourt