Benson not worried about injury
Right-hander will take the mound on Saturday vs. Orioles
TORONTO -- Rangers starter Kris Benson is not overly concerned about the fact that soreness in his right elbow has pushed his scheduled start back to Saturday's game in Baltimore. Instead, the right-hander, who was originally scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the Blue Jays, says he is not worried.
"Everything's good for Saturday," Benson said in the visitors' clubhouse at Rogers Centre on Tuesday. "I'll play catch today, get on the mound tomorrow and just treat these next few days as a normal get-me-ready for Saturday."
Benson said that he first experienced the problem with his elbow during a Minor League game in Peoria, Ariz., toward the end of Spring Training. The right-hander said the subpar pitching mound on the field, in particular, played a role in causing the injury.
Benson -- who was signed by Texas as a Minor League free agent at the start of Spring Training -- tried pitching through the soreness in his first two starts of the season. But it wasn't until his bullpen session on Sunday that the problem became too much, so Benson and the club decided it was time to take a few days off.
"I've been dealing with that for a couple of weeks trying to keep that under control and the last start was it kind of a little bit more aggravated than normal after the game," Benson said.
In his last start, against Baltimore last Wednesday, Benson allowed four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three, struck out two and collected the win, getting a lot of run support in the 19-6 romp over the Orioles.
Against Detroit in his first start of the year, Benson allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits over five innings, taking the loss.
The right-hander said that throwing cut-fastballs tends to aggravate his elbow and as a result, he threw only three against Baltimore's hitters during his last start. Instead, he relied predominantly on regular fastballs. Benson also said he may have thrown too many cutters against the Tigers, which did not help matters.
With Benson's start moved to Saturday, the Rangers' starting pitchers will each move up one day. Left-hander Matt Harrison will start on Wednesday, while Kevin Millwood gets the nod on Thursday. Vicente Padilla will open the series in Baltimore on Friday.
Benson missed the last two full Major League seasons because of a rotator cuff problems. Thankfully for the pitcher, though, that is unrelated to his current elbow issues.
"I could probably get out there and [pitch], but the thing is it's just going to continue to get aggravated every start," Benson said
Texas manager Ron Washington conceded that there was no need to rush the pitcher, given that the season is still in its early stages.
"That's why we pushed everybody forward," Washington said. "Benson will fall on Saturday, so we'll just see where we are then."
David Singh is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.