TUCSON, Ariz. -- The D-backs are not worried about Edwin Jackson. They are, however, curious about Kris Benson. Both starting pitchers took the mound and gave the organization something to think about on Friday. Jackson gave up five hits in six shutout innings in the 10-1 victory against the White Sox at Tucson Electric Park. Benson gave up two runs on four hits in five innings in a Minor League game and is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a Major League game next week. His fastball was clocked in the 88-89-mph range in the 75-pitch outing.
"I give Kris credit," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He came out and worked out for us and we signed him. He came in ready to throw five innings and he's a nice option to have." Jackson's spot as the team's no. 2 starter to start the season is secure. Benson, who recently signed a Minor League deal with the club, could be in the mix for the fifth-starter job. The D-backs will not need a fifth starter until April 17. "He is certainly part of the group of guys we are going to look at," Byrnes said. "As we go through a long season, certainly there will be considerations." Benson is on the comeback trail. He had rotator cuff surgery in 2007 and did not pitch in the big leagues that year or in '08. Last season, he was 1-1 with an 8.46 ERA in eight games (two starts) for the Rangers. "I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and get all my work in between and let the cards fall where they may," Benson said. "I can't say enough about how good my arm feels. It's a lot more fun going out there pitching and knowing that maybe you are not being as effective because your stuff is not there and not because your arm is hurting. That's two totally different things."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.