The Giants have said that Brad Hennessey got the save opportunity last night because of an injury to Armando Benitez, not because of Benitez’s poor performance of late. Today, however, the San Fransisco Chronicle reports that the Giants are trying to trade Benitez.
Giants GM Brian Sabean said today, “It’s safe to say the bullpen is being reviewed… we’ve got to the point where we are going to have to do something, and hopefully within the next 24 or 48 hours we’ll resolve it internally or externally. Right now we are exploring options.” I think at this point it is safe to say that Benitez won’t be closing anymore games for the Giants.
That leaves Brad Hennessey as the most likely member of San Francisco’s bullpen to take over closing duties. So far this year, he has a 5.64 K/9, a 1.61 BB/9, and a 50% ground ball rate. He won’t help much in the strikeout category, but hopefully you’re not relying on your closers to win you that category anyway. His K/BB is solid and his GB% is very good, so Hennessey could be a nice closer for you. He is putting up the best numbers of his career, but in 2004 and 2005 he was a full-time starter and in 2006 he pitched roughly half of his innings in the rotation. I don’t think a regression is necessarily in order.
The Giants are discussing Benitez with the Marlins and one other, unnamed, team. Should he land with the Marlins, there is a decent chance he could immediately surpass Kevin Gregg and Henry Owens as closer. Hang onto Benitez in all leagues, for now, and pick up Hennessey in all leagues now too.