Bethancourt is sidelined with an intercostal strain that has not improved enough to allow him to return. The expectation, though, is that he’ll participate in winter ball once healthy. The 25-year-old receiver, who’ll end the year with a .228/.265/.368 slash over 204 plate appearances, is part of an uncertain mix of future options behind the dish for San Diego.
Prospect Austin Hedges seems like the future number one, but the Triple-A standout appears to be finishing out his standout year at the highest level of the minors. (It’s worth noting that Hedges already has 154 days of major league service, so an earlier call-up would have meant bumping him past one full season and moved up his free agency.) Meanwhile, veteran Derek Norris has scuffled through a disastrous season with the bat and still looks to be a trade candidate.
As for Ross, who has been throwing in an attempt to work back from a shoulder injury, it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll make it to his second MLB start on the year. “Before September rolled around, we all felt very strongly that Tyson was going to pitch again for us this year,” said manager Andy Green. “Then it looked like a probability. Now it looks like just a possibility at this point in time.”
Certainly, there’s little reason for San Diego to push Ross too hard. At present, the veteran righty “has not been able to rebound” sufficiently from his sessions, per Green. It has been a lost season for Ross, 29, who is nevertheless likely to earn something close to his $9.625MM salary in his final arb-eligible campaign. The Pads could still look to work out a trade for him if he shows up healthy in the spring, but otherwise will presumably enter the year as a prime mid-season trade candidate — if his shoulder holds up.