Bechtel promoted, two added, one let go

The San Diego Padres gave outfielder Rashad Smith his unconditional release, right-hander Chuck Bechtel was promoted to the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League, and catcher Chris Miller and right-hander Howie Pence were promoted from extended spring training.

Chris Miller was with the Chicago Cubs organization during the 2002 and 2003 season, playing five games for the Lansing Lugnuts in '02 and '03. Entering the 2004 season Miller has a career minor league batting average of .245 in 88 games with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in. He was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the June 2002 draft and attended Long Beach City College, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California and the University of California-Irvine.

Howie Pence, who attended Sam Houston State, signed as a non-drafted free agent in June of 2003. Pence appeared in one game for Eugene and 27 games with Idaho Falls last year. He combined to go 2-2 with a 6.37 earned run average. In 35 1/3 innings, Pence struck out 20 and walked 15. He ranked second on the Idaho Falls staff with eight games finished.

Chuck Bechtel appeared in 22 games for the Wizards this season. He was 1-1 with a 5.34 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. Bechtel struck out 35 and walked 23 and finished seven games for Fort Wayne. He allowed at least a run in 12 of the 22 games, although in three of those games all his runs were unearned. His longest outing of the year was two innings, occurring six times.

Rashad Smith played in five games for the Wizards in 2004, hitting .056 with two runs scored. He managed just one base hit.

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