Benson To Become D-backs' #5 Starter

The Arizona Diamondbacks plan to promote Kris Benson for Saturday's start against the Padres in San Diego. In order to accommodate Benson on the 25-man roster, someone will wither have to be dropped from the 40-man roster, exposing them to waivers, or Brandon Webb will need to be transferred to the 60-day disabled list, which would make him ineligible to pitch in the majors until late May.

Kris Benson outpitched fellow fifth starter candidates Billy Buckner and Bryan Augenstein at Triple-A Reno.  Kevin Mulvey pitched well, but Benson got the nod over Mulvey due to his experience at the major league level.

"We know he can handle the big leagues," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said of Benson, a former #1 overall pick..

Benson has gone 69-74 in 197 major league starts.  Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, however, he has only pitched 22.1 major league innings since the end of the 2006 season. All of those frames came while he pitched for the Texas Rangers last year, and Benson had an 8.46 ERA during that span.

One disadvantage of promoting Benson over the other candidates is that the team must now clear room for Benson on the 40-man roster.  A reliever will be removed from the 25-man roster, but a player must also be dropped from the 40-man roster and exposed to the waiver wire so that Benson can be added. 

The other option would be for injured ace Brandon Webb to transfer from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.  Players on the 60-day DL do not count towards a team's 40-man roster, however that transaction would make Webb ineligible to pitch in the majors until late May.

"I'd rather wait a little bit extra time to get him right so that we have him for the long haul," Hinch said of Webb.

Matt Torra assumes Benson's spot in the Aces rotation.  Torra, who was the first supplemental round pick of the 2005 draft (31st overall), tossed five shutout innings in his one Double-A start this season and has 14 games experience at the Triple-A level.  Those came in 2008, when Torra went 5-5 with a 4.71 ERA for the Tucson Sidewinders in their final season as the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate.

Assuming Torra's spot in the BayBears rotation will be a href=>Patrick McAnaney<.  McAnaney went 10-8 with a 4.41 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 147 innings with the Visalia Rawhide last year.  He was an eighth round selection of the Diamondbacks in the 2008 draft and managed a 0.89 ERA over two pro levels in that 2008 season..

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