Benson Looks OK

This hasn't been the Kentucky Derby of races by any means.

In the battle for the No. 5 spot in the Phillies' rotation, righthander Adam Eaton, who has a 15.75 ERA this spring, got a MRI and CT on his ailing lower back today. His top competition for the job? Lefthander Travis Blackley got shelled in 1 2/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians in Winter Haven. Righthanders Chad Durbin and J.D. Durbin each have ERAs worse than 7.00 this spring. And righthander Kris Benson threw three-plus innings in a minor-league game.

Benson, whose fastball topped out at 88 mph, still thinks he can be ready to go by opening day. But you get the feeling the Phillies think he could be ready more likely by late April, early May.

In three-plus innings, Benson allowed three hits, one walk and struck out one.