Instead, Benson struggled at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the thought of him being able to provide late season help in Philly disappeared. After posting a 5.52 ERA for the IronPigs through the end of August, Benson was let go to potentially seek other offers, but none came.
Benson recently told MASN Sports that he decided to change trainers and has been doing a lot of work on his strength and flexibility and has regained a lot of range of motion with his right arm. So far, he's only thrown off of flat ground, but will step that up and audition for interested teams later this month in Arizona. So far, the Cardinals and Dodgers have the most interest, with the Diamondbacks and Rangers sniffing around.
Perhaps the Phillies should send someone to that audition. After all, Benson and the Phillies parted on good terms last season and he had expressed during the season that he was grateful to the Phillies for giving him an opportunity. Perhaps, Benson just wasn't ready or hadn't received the right conditioning prior to the season to help him pitch effectively. They certainly know what he looked like last season and giving a comparison by watching him pitch may be of interest to the Phillies.
Benson appears ready to accept a minor league deal and may accept something much like what the Phillies offered last season, providing him with an out if the Phillies don't need him. If it was a good idea a year ago, why wouldn't it be a good idea now?
The Phillies rotation appears potentially set, with Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton and a host of others competing for the final spot. Putting Benson into that competition would give the Phillies one more option to consider this spring.