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Benson activated, Mendoza down, and the state of the pen

Evan Grant says that the Rangers are activating Kris Benson from the disabled list tomorrow, and are sending Luis Mendoza back to AAA.

Vaya con dios, Luis.  Hopefully, you'll spend the next four months in AAA, pitching well, and we won't see you again until September.  I think your development would be much better served staying in Oklahoma until rosters expand, rather than bouncing up and down.

As for Benson, the Rangers are being coy, flexible, or indecisive (depending on your point of view) as to what he'll be doing going forward.  He's apparently going to be in the pen for the next few days, and then...well, it isn't clear.  Scott Feldman continuing to pitch well in the rotation seems to only make the organization get all hot and bothered about what he can do in the bullpen, even though Benson hasn't shown much reason to believe that he's really a viable option in the rotation anyway.

What the Rangers really need is another reliable righty reliever.  As it is, Dozer is getting the boot because Ron Washington would be reluctant to put him into that famous 30-3 game in Baltimore, and if you aren't going to use Eddie Guardado in a tie game in the 9th against Ichiro, there seems to be little reason to have him in the bullpen.  That, together with the Holland Rules in place, means that the Rangers are effectively working with a 4 man bullpen right now.

And of that four man pen, one guy was an NRI coming off two terrible seasons with no history of relieving, and one is a Rule 5 guy claimed off of waivers a week or so ago.  When you bring your closer into his second straight game to get two outs with a five run lead, that's a pretty damning indictment of how you feel about the other options you have out there.

I felt that some guys in the minors could provide some options in May, but Thomas Diamond is hurt, Guillermo Moscoso isn't pitching that well, Pedro Strop just got shelled, and they probably aren't going to bring up Neftali Feliz until Holland moves into the rotation.  And a trade at this point of the season isn't realistic.

It wouldn't be surprising if A.J. Murray came up in the next couple of weeks to replace Guardado in the LOOGY role.  And maybe Benson can provide a little more security in a long man role, assuming they don't bump Feldman again in the misguided notion that he's more valuable in relief.  But right now, you have to be worried about whether the handful of guys Washington relies upon are going to be able to last the season.