Morning Coffee: Benson, Eaton, Hamels and More

It's amazing how many question marks are attached to the Phillies' starting rotation at this time. Some are big question marks. Others aren't as big. But they are there.

Today, we looked at two of them in the Daily News. Probably the biggest is Adam Eaton, a free-agent signing last year who suffered through a disastrous 2007 season. Manager Charlie Manuel made it very clear to us yesterday that Eaton is not guaranteed a spot in the rotation, despite a contract that will pay him more than $16 million over the next two seasons. More on this later.

 Also, we checked out Cole Hamels, who acknowledged that he needs to stay healthy in order to become an elite No. 1 starter.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are close to adding more pitching help. I spoke with Gregg Clifton, the agent for Kris Benson, late last night and he told me that he and Phils assistant GM Ruben Amaro were planning on talking later yesterday night and early this morning. Amaro said yesterday he expected a "resolution" within 24 to 48 hours. The two sides are likely hammering out the details of what is sure to be an incentive-laced minor league deal. Though, for the Phillies, it should be a win-win: If Benson ends up earning tons of money through incentives, it means he's pitched well.

Also, be sure to check out our coverage of the Roger Clemens appearance on Capitol Hill. We'll have plenty.

Tune in later. . .