Kent State grad John Van BenSchoten started his first game of the season monday for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Van BenSchoten gave up six earned runs in four plus innings of action. He was them promptly sent back to Triple A Indianapolis after the game.
The eighth overall pick of the 2001 draft was 0-2 with an 9.39 ERA in four appearances this season. Three of them were in relief. Van BenSchoten began the season at Indianapolis 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA, all in relief, before being called up.
Although Van Benschoten hasn't pitched particularly well at the major league level it is my opinion that the Pirates may have mismanaged a little bit. Van BenSchoten has pitched in relief the entire season, and pitched well in the minors doing so. He relieved in his first three appearances with the Pirates. So then the Pirates decide to start him out of nowhere?
Starting and relieving takes two completely different mindsets and it showed in Van BenSchoten's performance. Van Benschoten struck out two batters in the first inning and worked a perfect second inning. He gave up an RBI single in the third inning to Yunel Escobar and then struck out Chipper Jones.
In the fourth inning Greg Norton reached first base on an error by THIRD BASEMAN Doug Mientkiewicz, wasn't he a Gold Glove first basemen? Why is he across the diamond? When did he move across the diamond? That play opened the gates for a Mark Kotsay two-run double. it was all downhill from there.
Is it a surprise a reliever pitched well for three innings then struggled afterward? No, that is his job to pitch well in brevity. While I agree the Van BenSchoten didn't throw the best in his brief stint in the majors I also feel the Pirates didn't put him in any type of situation to do so. But then again it’s the Pirates. There is a reason they never win anymore and I feel it shows in this situation.
I realize this is a Kent State blog so obviously it is biased, but tell me what you guys think in the comments section.
Perhaps I was too hasty in chastising the Pirates on the move. According to Dejan Kovacevic, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pirates are very much interested in recalling Van BenSchoten soon. Matter of fact, they like what he has to offer, but want to "stretch" his arm out more in the minors.
"He has major league stuff," General manager Neal Huntington told Dejan Kovacevic. "It's just getting his location and command consistent."
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