As expected, the Athletics officially activated left-hander Brett Anderson from the disabled list in advance of Saturday night’s game against the Tigers, according to Jane Lee of MLB.com. He’ll square off against fellow sophomore Rick Porcello.
Anderson, 22, has been on the disabled list since late last month due to left elbow inflammation and a strained forearm. He was given the go-ahead for a return after tossing all of his pitches without discomfort during a 30-pitch bullpen session on Thursday. Anderson gave up two runs on six hits over three innings during a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Monday.
Anderson entered the season with high expectations after going 11-11 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.28 WHIP during his rookie campaign in ’09. He was well on his way to delivering on his new four-year contract extension, going 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his first four starts in April. Let’s hope he picks up from where he left off.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.