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March 31, 2009


That's what Kris Benson is to the Rangers and what the Rangers are to Kris Benson.

He scratches the Rangers' back by buying them some time as a one-year starter, they reciprocate by satisfying his itch to prove that he can still do this job.

"It’s a win-win situation, really," said Benson, whose workmanlike six innings against the Giants on Monday convinced manager Ron Washington, if no one else. "If I do make the roster, they’re not having to pay that much in starter terms. For me, it gets me back on the map again because if I can pitch here all season long, it means I’m having a pretty good season.

"I love all the things I see here. The competition on the staff, the bullpen. Defensively I’m sure we’re going to get better. The offense is great."

Benson, of course, is not a long-term answer for the Rangers but he fills a need right now while Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz get some more necessary minor league innings.

The critical decision for the Rangers really isn't whether or not he's a fit for the rotation. It's who they bump from the 40-man roster to get Benson, Elvis Andrus, Eddie Guardado, Omar Vizquel and possibly Jason Jennings on. The Rangers can ill-afford a repeat of the Armando Gallaraga mistake from last spring.

-- Jim Reeves


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