Phillies release righty Benson
Veteran hurler's comeback attempt hampered by injuries
CHICAGO -- With roster expansion looming Monday and no opening for a starting pitcher, the Phillies released Kris Benson on Saturday, giving him a chance to hook on with a Major League team for the final month of the season.Benson, who signed a Minor League deal with the Phillies in February with the goal of helping them in a pennant race, suffered a series of injuries, notably biceps tendinitis and groin injuries. The right-hander went a combined 1-6 with a 5.78 ERA with Class A Clearwater and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, starting 13 games. He cost the Phillies $375,000, or $75,000 a month, while pitching in the Minors. The main reason behind the decision was that the team felt Benson was limited to being a starter, eliminating the bullpen option. "We've been monitoring him for the last month, and usually when you are coming back from arm trouble, you're going to have peaks and valleys," general manager Pat Gillick said. "He can't be a bullpen guy. At this point, we can't put him in the rotation, so [this was] the best thing to do, we felt ... so he can hook on with another club and maybe get an opportunity to start." With a rotation of Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick -- plus J.A. Happ and Adam Eaton lilkely getting called up Monday -- the Phillies couldn't give Benson that opportunity. The veteran righty has never relieved in his Major League career. "We just think it's best that he moves on," Gillick said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.