When the Tigers signed Joaquin Benoit to a 3 year 16.5 MM contract in the winter, it turned some heads to say the least. Whether or not it’s a good deal for the future remains to be seen. However, for this year, it’s a pretty awesome one to say the least.
Benoit got off to a horrid start for his new team. He had a 6.10 ERA in April, and after three straight terrible appearances, was given a week off. Since then, Benoit has been shut down, to say the least. Here are his monthly splits by ERA:
Since May 16, hitters are hitting .179/.244/.276/.520 against him. In addition, his statline appears like this: 46 games, 3-0, 2 sv, 43 IP26 hits, 13 walks, 45 K, 1.47 ERA 9.42 K/9 2.72 BB/9. That’s a shutdown reliever. Whatever adjustments he made in May, he’s obviously carried those over for the rest of the season. Not to mention, he hasn’t been scored on in 18 straight appearances, or since August 2 against the Rangers. That’s 6 weeks of scoreless ball.
Joaquin Benoit has definitely earned his 5.5 MM this season. At the very least, he’s the Tiger’s 8th inning guy for the next two years. If the Tigers decide to let Jose Valverde go in the offseason for whatever reason, you could definitely do worse than inserting Joaquin Benoit in the closer role. Besides the Big Potato, he’s been the most reliable reliever this season.