Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Van Benschoten 

Back in January, when John Van Benschoten was diagnosed with a torn labrum that would sideline him for the season I suggested that the Pirate pitching prospect -- who was considered an elite outfield prospect, as well, when he was drafted -- should DH this season, given the high attrition rates of pitchers coming back from labrum tears.

Today's Ask BA fields that very question, but Jim Callis seems to be coming at it from the wrong angle. He dismisses the possibility, suggesting that the risk of further injury was too great to make it worthwhile for him to DH. But Callis appears to be ignoring the possibility that, given the labrum injury, Van Benschoten's prospects might be greater now as a hitter than as a pitcher, which would make the possibility that he'd delay his recovery on the mound somewhat moot.

I still think that the torn labrum jeopardizes Van Benschoten's future on the mind sufficiently that the Pirates should seriously consider returning him to the field. The guy hit 31 homers in college in 2001, and could salvage a career as an outfielder if he can get his stroke back.

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