I found this blurb from Jayson Stark's new Rumblings column interesting:
Meanwhile, Benedict, the man who turned Charlie Morton into Roy Halladay Jr. last year, has helped the well-traveled Rick van den Hurk undergo a "Charlie Morton-esque" transformation this year, according to another scout. Van den Hurk is 13-5, with a 2.92 ERA and a 113-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio, in Triple-A, and now appears to figure in the Pirates' rotation plans for next year. "He used to be straight over the top, with an average curveball," the same scout said. "Now he's got a three-quarters slot, with a little turn in his delivery. He's throwing a slider instead of a curve. He's throwing 93-96 [mph], and it's nasty. And that's all Jim Benedict."
I always wondered why nobody ever talks about van den Hurk despite seeing the minor league updates throughout the year detailing his success and his apparent ability to miss bats. Obviously he's a huge upgrade over some of the previous "Number 8 Starters" of year's past, from Yoslan Herreara to Brian Bass to Virgil Vazquez. But is he really someone that could be in the mix for the 5th starter spot next year? And for that matter, is he somone who gets added to the 40-man after the Indy play-off run and replaces say Daniel McCutchen as an emergency arm down the stretch?
I say why not?