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Community Projection: Kris Benson

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I'm going to be frank, maybe even a little blunt: I do not give a shit about Kris Benson's wife. I don't care who she is, what she does, what she says, what she looks like. Kris Benson's wife has gotten more press in the last two/three years for doing absolutely nothing worthwhile other than I suppose probably giving money to charity and such than I really care to even recall. All I really can think of off-hand is she looks like a Penthouse Pet, she hates PETA, and the two of them have sex in parking lots of baseball stadiums and she thinks it's the most shocking and amazing thing the rest of the human race will ever hear. Gosh!

I hope for this to be one of the very few times I even mention Anna Benson. She has nothing to do with the baseball team. Kris does, and Kris is now in our starting rotation, so let's focus on Kris.

Here are his numbers from the last four years:

            IP     ERA   WHIP     K   HR
2002 PIT       130.3   4.70   1.55    79   18
2003 PIT       105.0   4.97   1.55    68   14
2004 PIT/NYM   200.3   4.31   1.31   134   15
2005 NYM       174.3   4.13   1.26    95   24

Benson's had injury trouble over his career, having already gone through Tommy John surgery (2002 and 2003 were his comeback seasons from the surgery). He was looking like a pretty fair strikeout pitcher that also walked a bunch of people in 2000. He's come back as a guy who doesn't walk many folks but doesn't strike very many out either. His K/9 fell off horribly last season, but where Benson has undeniably improved his game the last two seasons is in the number of hits he allows, becoming more consistent with his first two very promising big league years in 1999/2000 with the Pirates. The comeback years saw him give up a boatload of hits, which really hurt his WHIP numbers. The last two, he's gotten his hits down and has posted respectable numbers in that category.

2005 was Benson's best season since the surgery, obviously, and that is both promising and troubling for his prospects as an Oriole. Moving to the AL for the first time didn't hurt Kevin Millwood one bit last year, so I really don't know how that will affect Benson, if it does at all. The worrisome thing is that Benson's best since the surgery was thoroughly mediocre, and the lack of strikeouts might be a problem facing lineups like the ones in Boston, New York and Toronto on a regular basis.

But enough of that, let's get down to it. Here's the line: IP, ERA, WHIP, K, HR.