Joaquin Benoit is making a comeback

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FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that Joaquin Benoit is making a comeback after sitting out all of last season following shoulder surgery.
Benoit pitched eight seasons in Texas after signing with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, but he’s now a free agent and Morosi notes a “handful of teams” are interested. He struggled in 2008 before going under the knife, but Benoit had a 3.80 ERA with 250 strikeouts versus just 205 hits allowed in 248.2 innings from 2005-2007.
When healthy he featured a low-90s fastball/mid-80s slider combo that was very tough to hit. In fact, during that three-year span the only relievers to toss 200 innings with a lower opponents’ batting average than Benoit were Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez, Billy Wagner, J.J. Putz, Brian Fuentes, Scot Shields, Rafael Betancourt, and Mariano Rivera.
As a 32-year-old coming off major arm surgery Benoit may simply be finished, but he’d definitely be a worthwhile flier for teams with some middle-relief openings.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to be examined for arm tightness

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Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.

Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.

Aaron Judge broke a dubious record last night

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Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.

Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also,  Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.

None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.