Armando Benítez

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Armando Benítez

Benítez with the Marlins in June 2007
Long Island Ducks – No. 47
Relief pitcher
Born: (1972-11-03) November 3, 1972 (age 39)
Bats: RightThrows: Right 
MLB debut
July 28, 1994 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Win-Loss    40-47
Earned run average    3.13
Strikeouts    946
Saves    289
Teams
Career highlights and awards
 
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Armando Benítez

Benítez with the Marlins in June 2007
Long Island Ducks – No. 47
Relief pitcher
Born: (1972-11-03) November 3, 1972 (age 39)
Bats: RightThrows: Right 
MLB debut
July 28, 1994 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Win-Loss    40-47
Earned run average    3.13
Strikeouts    946
Saves    289
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Armando Germán Benítez (born November 3, 1972 in Ramón Santana, San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic) is a relief pitcher who is currently with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Contents

Professional career

Baltimore Orioles

Benítez was signed in 1990 by the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent. Coming up through the Orioles' farm system, he made his debut in 1994. While with the Orioles, he initially struggled, collecting a 5.66 ERA in 1995 and faltering in the postseason frequently.[1] In the 1996 ALCS he yielded the infamous Jeffrey Maier home run, sprinting all the way to right field to confront the umpire, Rich Garcia, who made the call. By 1998 he started to show some of his future potential earning a 3.82 ERA and 22 saves in 71 games. In 1997 Benitez had a break out year, as he excelled in the set up role for Orioles' closer Randy Myers, forming a lethal 1–2 punch at the back end of the Orioles bullpen and propelling them to the A.L. East pennant.

Mets, Yankees, Mariners

Before the 1999 season, Benítez was traded to the New York Mets in a three-team deal, in which catcher Charles Johnson joined the Orioles while Todd Hundley was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with Roger Cedeno also joining Benitez in New York. Benitez initially served as the setup man for longtime Mets closer John Franco; however, when Franco went down with an injury mid-way through the 1999 season, Benitez assumed the job and was named the full-time Mets closer even after Franco's return. During his first four seasons in New York, he subsequently became one of the Major Leagues' elite closers, saving 139 games. But it was also a painful time for Mr. Benítez, who battled gout during the 2000 season, due to overindulging in shellfish.[2] Unfortunately, his frequent failures in big games became infamous, including blowing his first World Series save opportunity and blowing several key games late in the 2001 season. This led to the nickname of "BLOWnítez" because of all his blown saves. As a result, Benítez's failures in clutch situations overshadowed most of the success he had in his career in New York. Regardless, several playoff contenders were interested in his services. Midway through 2003, as Benítez labored trying to convert saves through the year, he was traded to the New York Yankees, who intended to use him as a setup man for Mariano Rivera. Benítez had a 1.93 ERA in nine games before being traded again to the Seattle Mariners, where he finished the season.

Florida Marlins

In 2004, Benítez once again became a closer, taking a pay cut to join the Florida Marlins for one year. His season with the Marlins ended up being his best season to date; he saved 47 games in 51 chances and compiled a 1.29 ERA. In fact, after giving up a solo home run in his first game of the season, he did not allow another earned run until June 5, after an impressive streak of 30 scoreless innings.[3] After the season, Benítez elected to become a free agent, signing a three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants that was worth a reported US$21 million.

San Francisco Giants

His tenure with the Giants was mired by injuries and a high percentage of blown saves, never recapturing the form he showed in 2004 with the Marlins. His first season with the Giants started badly when Benítez tore a pair of tendons in his right hamstring while running to cover first in late April. The injury had him sidelined until August, when he returned to the mound after a difficult rehab.[citation needed]

Benítez struggled for much of the 2006 season, at one point blowing three consecutive save opportunities. Benítez's season ended prematurely after being placed on the 60-day disabled list with arthritis in both knees.[4] He ended the season with 17 saves in 25 opportunities.

Benítez started 2007 well, converting all of his first seven save opportunities.[5] However, in May, Benítez picked up two blown saves and three losses, including a blown save and a loss against his former team, the Mets, where he committed two balks.[6] After the game Benítez commented, "I didn't do my job", contrasting with his previous game where he picked up the loss yet claimed, "I did my job." MLB.com writer Chris Haft reported that this added "little to the family atmosphere" at the Giants ballclub.[7] Benítez had once before said, "I did my job," even when tallying a blown save, during a Giants loss to the Nationals in 2006.[8]

On May 31, 2007, he was traded back to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Randy Messenger. Giants general manager Brian Sabean acknowledged that Benítez was not liked by the Giants fanbase, saying he had become a "whipping boy", adding "the fans, the press and maybe some people in the clubhouse felt he needed to go".[9] Chris Haft noted that Benítez had "incurred the wrath of San Francisco fans with his perceived attitude as well as his performance", further writing "he maintained his tendency to shrug off accountability for poor performances, prompting the crowds at AT&T Park to boo him after the slightest lapse." [9]

Benítez's first return to AT&T Park after being traded to the Marlins came on July 29, 2007. He was greeted with "thunderous boos" from the Giants fans.[10]

On October 29, 2007, Benítez officially filed for free agency, ending his second tenure with the Marlins.[11]

Toronto Blue Jays

On March 11, 2008, Benítez agreed to a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and was given chance to compete for a bullpen job in spring training.[12] After starting the season in the minors, he was eventually added to the active roster in May. However, on June 7, he was designated for assignment and released.

Newark Bears

Benitez started the 2009 season with the Newark Bears, an Independent League team in the Atlantic League, before signing a minor league contract with the Houston Astros.

Houston Astros

On August 22, 2009 Benitez was signed to a minor league deal by the Houston Astros and assigned to their triple-A affiliate the Round Rock Express. On his minor league return, Benitez gave up back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against Memphis Redbirds hitters.

Florida Marlins- 3rd stint

On June 24, 2010 Benitez signed a minor league deal with the Florida Marlins and was assigned to their triple-A affiliate, New Orleans Zephyrs. Benitez was released on July 15 and immediately signed to play his 2nd stint with the Newark Bears. Following the season, he became a free agent.

Back to the minors

In May 2011 Armando signed to play for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League Of Independent Baseball

Long Island Ducks

On May 24, 2012 Benitez signed with the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks. [13] They are not affiliated with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball.

Accomplishments

See also

References

  1. ^ "Armando Benitez Biography". BaseballLibrary.com. http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Armando_Benitez_1972. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Too Bad Piazza Can't Steal Hit". Daily News (New York). September 15, 2000. http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/2000/09/15/2000-09-15_too_bad_piazza_can_t_steal_h.html. 
  3. ^ "SI.com - Recap". SI.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/recaps/2004/06/05/6131_recap.html. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Giants shut down Benitez for season". MLB.com. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060913&content_id=1661073&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Notes: Benitez silencing critics". MLB.com. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070427&content_id=1934001&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Benitez's struggles cost Giants in 12th". MLB.com. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070529&content_id=1992918&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  7. ^ "Giants can't preserve Cain's victory". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070525&content_id=1986236&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  8. ^ "Giants' miscues add up in tough loss". MLB.com. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060726&content_id=1577146&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=s. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Giants trade Benitez for Messenger". MLB.com. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070531&content_id=1997941&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  10. ^ "Giants keep rolling with walk-off win". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070728&content_id=2115685&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  11. ^ "Benitez formally chooses free agency". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071029&content_id=2287892&vkey=news_fla&fext=.jsp&c_id=fla. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  12. ^ "Blue Jays sign Armando Benitez". MLB.com. http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20080311&content_id=2418665&vkey=pr_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  13. ^ [http:// http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/armando-benitez-is-signed-by-ducks-1.3738810?qr=1 "Armando Benitez is signed by Ducks"]. newsday.com. http:// http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/armando-benitez-is-signed-by-ducks-1.3738810?qr=1. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 

External links

Preceded by
Antonio Alfonseca
National League Rolaids Relief Man of the Year
2001
Succeeded by
John Smoltz
Preceded by
Éric Gagné
National League Saves Champion
2004
(with Jason Isringhausen)
Succeeded by
Chad Cordero