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Benson To Start Minor League Game Saturday

Phillies right-hander Kris Benson is scheduled to start a Phillies Minor League game Saturday, according to Ken Mandel at MLB.com.

Benson, who had rotator cuff surgery a year ago, will throw 45 pitches in a game filled with Minor League players.

“Everything’s going upward as far as my progression goes. It’ll be nice to face batters who don’t know what’s coming and get some reaction. [Wednesday] was the first day I threw some curveballs and it’ll be good to throw some on Saturday. I’ve definitely needed to work on more curveballs, so I’m just looking for results now.”

This is fantastic news for the Phillies. Benson may not be ready to throw in the Grapefruit League (or by March 31), but all signs point to a quicker-than-normal recovery period. There is clearly hope he could be pitching for the Phillies by May 1. By that time, it’s possible Adam Eaton could be wasting away in the bullpen while a host of fix-its get shellacked.

Truncated odds and ends:

Mets outfielder Moises Alou strained his right groin and is going back to New York for an MRI. … The Mets are also looking for a platoon partner for outfielder Ryan Church. … Chipper Jones has been ailing a hamstring but should be back soon. … Kyle Kendrick has been working on a changeup, as his “out pitch,” the sinker, will be much more prominent in batters’ heads this year. … As it stands, the Phils lead the Blue Jays 5-0 (good performance by Brett Myers) and trail the Tigers 4-0 (rough performance by JD Durbin).

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