Sports Outside the Beltway

Oriole’s Benson Tears Rotator Cuff

Stick a fork in him, he’s likely done for 2007.

Orioles pitcher Kris Benson has a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and will almost certainly miss the 2007 season.

A recent MRI exam revealed a partial tear, Benson’s agent, Gregg Clifton said Monday. The injury will require surgery, but the procedure has not yet been scheduled.

Benson has never lived up to his amazing potential. In his early years with Pittsburgh he flirted with brilliance only to stumble and scuffle. Benson’s injury opens a spot in the rotation for either Adam Loewen or Hayden Penn, one of whom was likely to win a spot in the roation coming out of spring.

Loewen pitched fairly well last season in partial duty in Baltimore. Penn was thankfully limited a handful of poor outings. This likely marks the end of Kris Benson’s time in Baltimore. 2007 was the last guaranteed year for Benson. The Orioles are unlikely to pick up his option for 2008. And if Penn or Loewen work out, the Orioles would have little incentive to bring Benson back even on a reduced salary.

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