Assessing the players: Joaquin Benoit
Time to get back to the assessments and this time it is all about Joaquin Benoit, the Rays set up man. Benoit was signed to a minor league deal to start the season for the Rays but quickly was called up and made a huge impact for the Rays. Benoit was nearly unhittable and became one of the Rays best pitchers, throwing strikes and shutting down opponents late in games. Let’s take a closer look at Benoit and the numbers behind his incredible season.
Benoit finished the season with a record of 1-2 and 1 save, but these numbers don’t accurately reflect his position out of the bullpen. Benoit pitched 60.1 innings, striking out 75 batters while only walking 11. He gave up only 30 hits, 10 runs (9) home runs and finished with an ERA of 1.34.
Benoit was a starting pitcher for Texas last season, but after arm surgery, very few teams wanted to take a risk with him, but the Rays did and it paid off. Benoit throws strikes and lives by his fastball. The fastball (around 94 MPH) has a lot of movement, but Benoit has a lot of control with his pitch as well and is able to locate it perfectly. He also has a dangerous breaking ball as well that he can use at any time.
Benoit was used in the 8th inning for the Rays, setting up for the 9th inning and Rafael Soriano. Between the two pitchers, the Rays late inning games were nearly over when they pitched. Benoit is now a Detroit Tiger and while I am sad to see him go, I wish him the best of luck, he is truly a good pitcher and good person to have on a team. Overall, Benoit was a great success and a great part of the 2010 bullpen. Final grade: A