Putting Joaquin Benoit in Perspective

Blake VandeBunteContributor INovember 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09:  Pitcher Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Texas Rangers during game 3 of the ALDS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As most Tigers fans know, the club made one of the first splashes of the free agent season by signing Joaquin Benoit to a three-year deal worth at least $16.5 million.  Not bad if you’re Benoit.  Benoit is 33 years old and is coming off a career year with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Here’s a quick snapshot of his Benoit’s career:

- Played in the bigs with the Rangers from 2001-2008.
- Career ERA of 4.47 (ERA+ 105)
- Was a starter in the minors and his first few seasons with the Rangers.
- Missed all of 2009 due to an injury.
- 1.34 ERA last season for Tampa (ERA+ 295)
- Career WHIP of 1.34, 0.68 last season.

Benoit has posted three seasons with an ERA+ of 100 or better, obviously doing so last season.  He has a live fastball and has always put up pretty good K rates.

In 2010, Benoit put up the following numbers:

60.1 innings
1.34 ERA
0.68 WHIP
4.5 H/9
1.6 BB/9
11.2 K/9
6.82 K/BB

Using 60 innings as our minimum, we’ll compare Benoit’s 2010 numbers to the last Tiger to match the numbers:

- 1.34 ERA:  John Hiller came the closes with a 1.44 mark in 1973.  More recently, Joel Zumaya had a 1.94 ERA back in 2006.

- 0.68 WHIP: Willie Hernandez came the closest with a pair of 0.90 seasons in 1984 and 1985.

- 4.5 Hits per 9 innings: Joel Zumaya came the closest during his dominant 2006 season, but still does not compare to Benoit’s 2010 season.

- 11.2 K/9: John Hiller had a mark of 11.08 back in 1975.  Zumaya was second on the list with a 10.48 mark in 2006.

You could certainly make the argument that if Benoit is able to replicate his 2010 season it will be the finest season ever by a Tigers relief pitcher.  However, the odds are not great that Benoit will repeat his 2010 season in any of the next three seasons.  But, if the Tigers can get a guy a tick worse than that, they are getting a pretty good deal.

Here’s hoping that Benoit can stay healthy while in Detroit.

Related

    19-Year-Old Pedro Clone Already Has 102 MPH Heat

    MLB logo
    MLB

    19-Year-Old Pedro Clone Already Has 102 MPH Heat

    Danny Knobler
    via Bleacher Report

    Fresh Ideas for Blockbuster to Shake Up Spring Training

    Detroit Tigers logo
    Detroit Tigers

    Fresh Ideas for Blockbuster to Shake Up Spring Training

    Zachary D. Rymer
    via Bleacher Report

    Top 50 Players at the Start of Spring Training

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Top 50 Players at the Start of Spring Training

    Zachary D. Rymer
    via Bleacher Report

    Spring Training Early Impressions: a Totally Different Feel

    Detroit Tigers logo
    Detroit Tigers

    Spring Training Early Impressions: a Totally Different Feel

    Anthony Fenech
    via Detroit Free Press