The Texas Rangers have announced that Wes Benjamin will be starting for the team against the Houston Astros on Friday, May 13, 2021. Benjamin will be taking the place of Kohei Arihara, who has been placed on the injured list.
Benjamin, a 27 year old lefthander, made the Rangers Opening Day roster and was part of a tandem starter setup, but was optioned early on after exhibiting command problems. Benjamin has said that the problem was with his slider, and that the problem has been rectified with his work at the Alternate Training Site. Benjamin started for the Round Rock Express in their opener, throwing 5 shutout innings, striking out 8 and walking 1 while allowing 4 hits.
A roster move will have to be made Friday to open up an active roster spot for Benjamin. My initial guess is that Eli White would be sent down — he was optioned last week, but then recalled a day later when Arihara was placed on the active roster. Optioning White would leave the Rangers with just a three man bench, however, and not a very flexible defensive bench at that, so it is possible that a pitcher is dropped from the active roster.