Monday, February 28, 2005

The problems with Benoit and Dominguez 

T.R. Sullivan's piece in the S-T today touches on the Rangers' unhappiness with pitchers Joaquin Benoit and Juan Dominguez. Benoit, who is out of options, likely had his fate sealed with the Rangers gave Doug Brocail a guaranteed deal, since it meant that there was, at best, only one spot in the bullpen up for grabs this spring, with Showalter pet R.A. Dickey having the inside track.

Dominguez, meanwhile, has been showing up late for workouts, and had management publicly question his maturity. Given the emphasis this management team is putting on intangibles and character, that's a good way to get a ticket out of town...and Sullivan talks about management's unhappiness with the way Benoit, in particular, carries himself on the mound.

I would be surprised if either Benoit or Dominguez is still with the Rangers come September, and Sullivan seems to think their days are numbered, as well...he comes out and says that it is probably too late for Benoit to salvage a spot in the pen, and indicates that Dominguez is likely trade bait.

The frustrating thing about Benoit is, the guy has a 3.95 ERA out of the pen over the past three years, with a .241 opponent's batting average against and a decent K/BB ratio. He's someone who, once we waive him, seems like a good bet to re-surface somewhere else as a solid middle reliever, becoming some other team's Carlos Almanzar, the guy with the great arm who just never stuck in a big league pen before...

And again, it would be a little more palatable if it weren't for the fact that we were dumping him to make room for Doug Brocail.

The way I read the tealeaves, its not Brocail that will keep Benoit from being a Ranger. It's his lack of grittiness that will kill him, even if Brocail wasn't here.

Certainly if we see more of the post all star break Brocail, then signing him will work out just fine.
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