The Florida Marlins sent left-handed reliever Chad Bentz of Juneau back to the minors on Wednesday, optioning him to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League while calling up right-handed reliever Randy Messenger.
Bentz, who gave up a two-run homer to Andruw Jones during a 5-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, had a 31.50 ERA in four appearances during his brief call-up to the majors. He pitched only two innings, but allowed seven runs, eight hits and two homers during that time.
"You feel bad for a kid like that," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said of Bentz in a notes package posted on the Marlins' Web site. "He didn't get much of a chance to pitch. When he did, a couple of times he got a guy out. But if you have to go more than one hitter with him, somewhere along the line you don't have enough pitchers if (you don't go more than one hitter)."
Bentz is a 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate who was born with a malformed right hand that forces him to pitch and field with his left. He played part of the 2004 season with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) as a rookie, becoming just the second former high school or American Legion player from Alaska to make the major leagues.
Bentz posted an 0-3 record with a 5.86 ERA in 36 games with the Expos, but was sent to the minors to develop a slider to help him get left-handed hitters out. He ended the season on the disabled list, and the Nationals released him during the offseason.
After signing a minor league contract with the Marlins, Bentz was invited to their major league camp at spring training.
He wound up starting the season with the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, where he posted a 1-0 record with a 1.29 ERA in 7.0 innings before he was sent to Albuquerque. In his first stint with the Isotopes, Bentz posted an 0-0 record with a 0.82 ERA over 11.0 innings, earning a June 7 call-up to the Marlins.
During his first two appearances for the Marlins, Bentz got out the one hitter he faced. But on June 14, Bentz had a disastrous outing against the Chicago Cubs, allowing five runs and six hits in one-third of an inning. Tuesday's inning against the Braves was his first appearance since the Cubs game.
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