Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Phillies Close to Signing Benson and Injury News

The Phils are closing in on signing free agent pitcher Kris Benson to a deal. Assistant GM Ruben Amaro JR. said a deal is expected to be done in the next two days. The Phillies have been Benson's first choice all along because he feels they have a great chance to be competitive. I still am not getting excited about this. In the article I linked to above from, they talk about how Benson will compete with Adam Eaton, Chad Durbin, J.D. Durbin, and Travis Blackley for the fifth starter spot in the rotation. None of those names are anything to get crazy over. You can call it pitching depth if you want, but is it really depth if none of them are very good?

*Injuries With pitchers and catchers set to report tomorrow, there are still a few lingering injuries on the pitching staff. For all of those counting on Scott Mathieson to fill a role in the bullpen, you will need to look elsewhere. Mathieson suffered a setback in his comeback attempt, and that surely means he will miss at least the beginning of the season. The same goes for lefty Matt Smith, the only decent player from the Bobby Abreu trade. Smith is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be ready opening day. Another lefty, Mike Zagurski is closer to being ready after his hamstring surgery, but I hope the Phillies aren't counting on him for anything.

Finally, the most important pitcher on the Phils, Cole Hamels, is hoping he can stay healthy this season. If he can't, the Phils will be in a world of trouble.

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