Monday, January 21, 2008

Breaking Down The 40-Man Roster Day 1

This is the beginning of the 40-man roster breakdown that will be taking place over the next few weeks. Some days may feature more than one player and players who are involved in trade rumors will be among the last posts. So, without further adieu let the breakdown begin.

Joaquin Benoit
6'3" 220 lbs
Born: 07/26/1977
Opening Day Age: 30

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 70
Innings Pitched: 82.0
Record: 7-4
ERA: 2.85
Strikeouts: 87

2008 Prognosis:
Benoit had the best year of his career in 2007 and finally carved out a niche with the Rangers. After years of high expectations and big disappointments, Benoit settled into a late inning role and thrived. At the end of October 2007, the Rangers inked Benoit to a two-year deal worth $6-million which will keep him in a Rangers uniform through 2009. The 2008 season figures to be an interesting one for Benoit. He will go into Spring Training as a candidate to fill the closer role along with Eddie Guardado, Kazuo Fukumori, and CJ Wilson. Though Wilson seems to be the frontrunner, Benoit showed he has the ability to close following the trade of Eric Gagne last year.

I particularly enjoyed watching Benoit this past year after all the ups and downs his career has seen. Joaquin consistently showed the "stuff" that once made him a big time prospect and that kept him around even when he wasn't succeeding. He has truly honed his skills and worked to become a frontline major league relief pitcher. Whether it be as a setup man or a closer, Benoit has found his home in the Rangers' bullpen.

Tomorrow's "Breakdown Post" will feature Eddie Guardado.

photos courtesy of