I know you might look at Kris Benson and say, "Hey, man, he's only 10-10 with only a 4.88 ERA, that's kinda good for our team!" Number one, that's the problem with our team. Number two, he sucks.
And this is why you don't get too excited too early about a guy like Benson being sort of good. Benson's ERA after his June 22 start was 4.06. After tonight's pathetic effort, he's at 4.88. Do we need a crappy finesse pitcher (68 K in 149.1 IP this season) who will be 32 years old in November on this team? I say we do not.
Next year's rotation could be Bedard, Loewen, Penn, Cabrera and a fifth. Do I prefer Benson to Lopez, Ortiz or Chen? Sure, but I prefer an actual turd to any of those three. The question isn't about whether Benson is better than those three, it's whether or not we can do better than Benson. Odds are, we can.
Of course, that young rotation could very well flat out suck, but wouldn't you rather watch people who might be good than guys you hope won't be awful? There is absolutely nothing for this team to gain by employing Benson or the other three next season. If Penn or Loewen fail to stick, or if Cabrera absolutely implodes beyond repair, then you can probably find someone just as good as the four guys in question to replace them without spending much time or money on it. Three of them are God awful and a pitcher of Benson's caliber should be very easy to replace, although we all know the O's track record for finding decent starting pitching. Then again, just because we know it doesn't mean we should sit here and accept it, and think, "Well, I've seen worse than Benson." We all have. It's time to start seeing better, and not just going with the flow of whatever bum has a halfway decent three months in his arm.
But maybe I'm being hard on ol' Kris. After all, he hasn't been terrible, just completely mediocre. Still, I don't want to see him on this team next season. I'd just rather get a little more creative than plugging the multiple holes on this team with crappy veterans.