Dare to Compare: Joaquin Benoit vs. Jose Mesa

JoseMesaRemember back in late 2006 when the Tigers signed 41-year-old Jose Mesa to a one-year contract and most of us said, “Is it 1996?”

Fortunately or unfortunately, the Mesa Experiment was short lived. By June 3, 2007, he was released after posting some staggering numbers:

1 1 12.34 0 11.2 19 16 16 3 6 9 2.143
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/16/2011.


This all came to mind this evening as free-agent prize Joaquin Benoit got ripped by the Blue Jays for three runs in the eighth and notch yet another dreadful appearance in his short time in Detroit.

After Monday night Benoit’s stats might not be as gruesome as Mesa’s, but given Benoit’s age and the amount of dough the Tigers are investing, the numbers are almost worse:

1 2 6.59 0 13.2 17 12 10 1 4 11 1.537
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/16/2011.


Of course, two months into his three-year, $16.5 million contract Benoit is going nowhere.

But if he doesn’t turn it around soon and provide Jim Leyland with a reliable eighth inning option not named Ryan Perry, neither are the Tigers.

Published by

Mike McClary

Upbeat guy.

5 thoughts on “Dare to Compare: Joaquin Benoit vs. Jose Mesa”

  1. Benoit hasn’t been good, but he’s also been unlucky.

    Coming into Monday’s game, his FIP was 3.60 and his xFIP was 4.10, compared to his 6.59 ERA. His BABIP was .356, and it definitely rose after Monday’s appearance.

    There’s cause for concern, but he’s not as bad as his numbers. (That being said, he probably isn’t as good as last year’s numbers either. Real Benoit is probably somewhere in the middle.)


  2. Benoit scares me as bad as any releiver not named Valverde for the Tigers. I can’t beleive how bad this bullpen is. Go out and throw 1 good inning and get to Valverde. Its like clockwork, a Starting pitcher gets done and boom… the game becomes batting practice for the opposing team. Let’s hope Schlereth, Benoit, Thomas, Perry and who ever else they try for middle releif figure out something. Every time one of these guy’s pitches it’s the scariest moment of my life up to that point. I guess the Tigers will just have to score 10 runs every game.


  3. of course his BABIP goes up when he gives up hit after hit after hit. it is rising because he is giving up hits. he has been as bad or worse than his numbers. the tigers should be very concerned, especially with that much bread committed to him. the next best option is alburquerque. perry stinks. coke needs to move to the pen and soon.


  4. While Benoit’s performance was certainly subpar, I wonder if managing is also partly to blame for the loss. For example, why didn’t Leyland play it safe by having other pitchers warm up while (or before) Benoit was on the mound? That way, the option of replacing the pitcher would have been available after Benoit gave up two consecutive singles with no outs. (Yes, I would hook pitchers that quickly… because having a one-run lead while being significantly out-hit by the other team is a high-leverage situation.)


  5. I had my doubts about Benoit’s off season signing… I mean he’s really only had one.good.season. So for that we threw a truckload of money at him to be a setup man. If it works out Dumbo is a genius and if not… WTF!

    So what can the Tigers do… send him to AAA to work out the kinks? What if he doesn’t find his groove?

    It’s like we are snake bitten when it comes to set up men. I mean Zumaya… Perry… and now Benoit. Maybe Perry eventually works out or maybe Alburquerque turns into the answer.

    I’m glad Leyland manned up and took the job away from him. I think the Marlboro Man is feeling the heat to win … NOW. Otherwise I could see him wet nursing Benoit like he always does with his players. Other examples of Leyland’s urgency are emoting his boy Rymes, DLing Ordonez and now yanking Benoit’s job.

    I for one am glad to see Leyland beginning to manage for every win he can get instead of his crazy idea of resting players when they are red-hot.


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