Chad Bentz of Juneau, who saw his first major league action this year, has been placed on the disabled list by the Class AA Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators.
Bentz, a 24-year-old left-handed relief pitcher, has problems with his right foot and left shoulder and was scheduled to have an MRI (magnetic resonance image) on the shoulder last Thursday.
"Something's been going on all year," Bentz told the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News last week. "My velocity's been going down. I'm a little concerned. There's nothing to lose by getting it checked out to see if it's OK."
Bentz's father, Rob Bentz, said Chad's shoulder hasn't been in a lot of pain, but it stiffens between innings. Rob Bentz said the family is still waiting to hear how bad the shoulder is, but early indications were there was a minor tear in a ligament or muscle and the trainer didn't think it was a serious shoulder problem.
In his first two minor league seasons, Bentz had foot problems that required two surgeries. But those foot maladies involved a recurring nerve problem in the third toe on his left foot, which kept him from being able to pitch in the Class A Florida State League's All-Star Game two years ago. He had surgery after each of his first two minor league seasons, with the second operation correcting an incomplete job of removing the affected nerve during his first surgery.
Bentz had a healthy season last year in Harrisburg, winning the team's community service award and the team fan club's top pitcher award, and he had been healthy this season until the recent problems put him on the DL. The Senators' press release didn't specify what the current injury to his right foot involved, but Senators spokesman Mark Mattern wrote in an e-mail that it is similar to what "he had with the left foot a few years back." Rob Bentz said Chad is going to have surgery on the foot.
Since the Class AA Eastern League's season ends on Sept. 6, Bentz likely is done for the season unless he's a late-season call-up by the Montreal Expos when major league rosters expand from 25 to 40 players. Bentz, a 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, is one of six Expos prospects scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League in October.
Bentz started the season with the Montreal Expos and spent four months in the majors before being optioned to the Class AAA Edmonton (Alberta) Trappers and then the Senators to work on slider so he can better get lefty hitters out.
In two stints with the Expos, Bentz posted an 0-3 record with a 5.86 ERA in 27 2/3 innings over 36 games. He allowed 23 hits, 19 runs (18 earned), 23 walks, five homers and had 18 strikeouts.
In two brief stints with the Trappers, about two weeks total, Bentz had an 0-0 record with a 3.60 ERA in five innings and five appearances. He allowed two runs, five hits (including one homer), three walks and two strikeouts.
At Harrisburg, where Bentz was sent on Aug. 3, Bentz posted an 0-1 record with one save in 7 1/3 innings over five games. Bentz allowed seven runs, two homers, five hits, eight walks and two strikeouts. Four runs and two homers came in his last one-inning outing on Aug. 18.
Bentz also made an emergency start on Aug. 9, pitching three scoreless innings and coming out after walking a batter and giving up a hit in the fourth (both runners scored on Bentz's reliever). It was Bentz's first start in more than two seasons.