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03/26/10 8:50 PM ET

Benson gives D-backs solid outing

Righty tosses Minors game while Jackson shines at TEP

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The D-backs are not worried about Edwin Jackson. They are, however, curious about Kris Benson.

Both starting pitchers took the mound and gave the organization something to think about on Friday.

Jackson gave up five hits in six shutout innings in the 10-1 victory against the White Sox at Tucson Electric Park. Benson gave up two runs on four hits in five innings in a Minor League game and is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a Major League game next week. His fastball was clocked in the 88-89-mph range in the 75-pitch outing.

"I give Kris credit," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He came out and worked out for us and we signed him. He came in ready to throw five innings and he's a nice option to have."

Jackson's spot as the team's no. 2 starter to start the season is secure. Benson, who recently signed a Minor League deal with the club, could be in the mix for the fifth-starter job. The D-backs will not need a fifth starter until April 17.

"He is certainly part of the group of guys we are going to look at," Byrnes said. "As we go through a long season, certainly there will be considerations."

Benson is on the comeback trail. He had rotator cuff surgery in 2007 and did not pitch in the big leagues that year or in '08. Last season, he was 1-1 with an 8.46 ERA in eight games (two starts) for the Rangers.

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and get all my work in between and let the cards fall where they may," Benson said. "I can't say enough about how good my arm feels. It's a lot more fun going out there pitching and knowing that maybe you are not being as effective because your stuff is not there and not because your arm is hurting. That's two totally different things."

As for Jackson, he said he was pleased with his most recent outing -- especially after giving up 11 runs on 11 hits in his previous seven innings -- but is more focused on maintaining his rhythm on the mound than the results that show up in the box score.

"He's had a rough couple of outings, but his preparation has been fine," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "His attitude has been fine. He'll be there at the end of spring. We'll all have a short memory as to whether guys had great springs or a poor spring."

Like Benson, left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto, is giving the D-backs something to consider. Norberto, who is competing against Clay Zavada and Rule 5 Draft pick Zach Kroenke for a spot in the bullpen, has given up one hit and one run in 7 2/3 innings this spring

"Players this time of year are making a push to make the roster, and Norberto, specifically, is making it difficult to send him out," Hinch said. "He's come to camp and since Day 1, he's been impressive. He's put up zeros and has really high-end stuff. The important thing to keep in mind is that we are going to make the best decision that is a combination for him and for our team. It gets tricky when you have a young guy that comes to big league camp and makes a big splash. It's a good debate as to whether or not he makes the team."

The club is also considering Norberto's limited experience at high levels in the Minor Leagues. Last year, he had a 7.99 ERA in 24 innings at Double-A Mobile after posting a 1.61 ERA at Class A Visalia.

"Stranger things have happened in this game than to have a guy come from the lower Minor Leagues, pitch at Double-A and make the team," Hinch said. "It's possible, but it's not a definite. Regardless of what the deadline of Opening Day is, I think if he goes down to the Minor Leagues and other guys make our team, he's going to put a lot of pressure on that group continuing on. If he does make the team, he will make his presence known from the beginning."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.