Chad Bentz of Juneau, a rookie left-handed relief pitcher for the Montreal Expos, has been sent back to the minor leagues.
Bentz, 24, was optioned to the Edmonton Trappers of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League on Friday so the Expos could bring right-handed pitcher Roy Corcoran back to the majors. Corcoran had a brief stint in Montreal last year.
This is the second time Bentz, a 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, has been optioned to Edmonton this season.
Bentz, who had never played above the Class AA level, made the Expos in spring training and stayed with the team until June 24, when he was sent to Edmonton to work on developing a slider so he can better get out left-handed batters. Bentz's stay in Edmonton was brief, as the Expos recalled him on July 6 when starter Zach Day went on the disabled list.
In 36 games this season, Bentz has an 0-3 record and a 5.86 ERA in 27 2/3 innings. He allowed 23 hits, 19 runs (18 earned), 23 walks, five homers and had 18 strikeouts. Overall, players were hitting .228 against Bentz.
But lefty hitters, who usually fare better against righty pitchers than lefties, were hitting .283 with 13 hits, three homers, eight walks and 13 strikeouts against Bentz in 11 innings. Righty hitters were batting .182 with 10 hits, two homers, 15 walks and five strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.
According to a notes package posted on the Expos Web site on Friday, Montreal manager Frank Robinson said he wants Bentz to start throwing a slider in order to get lefties out. In his second stint with the Expos, Bentz allowed seven runs (six earned) in eight innings.
During his brief 10-day stint in Edmonton earlier this year, Bentz saw action in just three games, recording a 3.86 ERA in 2 1/3 innings. He gave up three hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out two batters.
The Expos plan to use Corcoran as a long reliever out of the bullpen. He was 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA and five saves in Edmonton. Corcoran gave up one earned run in 7 1/3 innings during his stint with Montreal last year.