Mike Benjamin - the muttonchopped Phucco.
Obviously, Score handed out the "Rising Star" designation like nitrous balloons at a Dave Matthews Band concert - every loser gets one. He was never any good. Benjamin never hit over .260 in the minors before getting a call-up and then spent parts of his first 5 big league seasons in the minors, only solidifying a permanent gig with the Giants in '94. Yet, Benjamin worked a career .229 average into 12 years and $5 million.
The Phils traded pitching phenom Jeff Juden to SF for Benjamin after the 1995 season. The previous year, Benjamin hit .220. Surprisingly, he hit only .223 with the Phillies and was not re-signed.
He then played two seasons in Boston, hitting .270 the last year. So, in typical Pirates fashion, they signed a guy who had hit like a Abe Nunez for the last 9 years to a four year contract. The results? Pitiful. He didn't even play one year because of injury, finally flaming out in 2002 after hitting .150.
Also, according to wikipedia, "Him and his wife Sherry also have been known to have an explicit video on the internet." So, he has that, and the 5 mil, going for him.
19 games, 28 IP, 2 ER, 29 K, 2BB, 0.64 ERA. Still with the FeHams...
Burrell Sleeps With Dogs
Pat the Bat missed Tuesday's game with neck stiffness. The origin of said stiffness? “I blame the dog,” Burrell said, referring to his 115-pound English bulldog, Elvis. “He had the pillow.”
Benson gave up one run in four innings on Tuesday in an extended spring-training game. He threw over 70 pitches and by reports his fastball was between 86 and 90. He's scheduled to make a minor league start Sunday for Clearwater.
"He progressed well. It was encouraging for him, and it was encouraging for us," said Ruben Amaro Jr.
Any coincidence that encouraging news about Kris Benson comes out just prior to Eaton pitching his best game of the year on Wednesday? Yeah, probably totally coincidental, the Rockies just suck right now and it is a great time to pitch against Colorado. But a little competition can't hurt. It will be interesting to follow Benson's progress in a few minor league starts and how the talk of replacing Eaton escalates.
No reports on whether Anna Benson will be at his start on Sunday...