Wednesday, October 29, 2008

John Van Benschoten dropped from the 40-man

Wow, this is like a landslide of Pirate news coming in today. The Bucs named Jim Benedict a special assistant to Neal Huntington today. He comes from the Cleveland organization, where he worked as a scout, and also overlapped with new pitching coach Joe Kerrigan in Montreal (and possibly Huntington as well), where he worked with minor league pitching. I'd assume both of those connections are significant to this hiring. They also shuffled around the front office a bit, moving Jesse Flores from special assistant to West Coast scouting supervisor.

They also dropped two more pitchers from the 40-man roster today (the PG reports four, but we already knew about Salas and Herrera). They are, with my reaction included in parenthesis:

  1. John Van Benschoten (yawn)
  2. Ronald Bellisario (oh yeah, he was on the roster, wasn't he?)
I honestly hope they make Van Benschoten's move to the bullpen full-time next year, just to see if his control problems can iron themselves out working in shorter form. I don't have high hopes for the guy, but his stuff isn't awful and if he can find some control, I think he'd at least be a more viable bullpen option than guys like Osoria and Salas were last year.

There should some corresponding moves coming soon to fill all these open slots, though they don't have to come immediately and Huntington may be waiting on fall-ball performances to make decisions on guys like Kyle Bloom.