It was a bad weekend for appendicitis in major league baseball

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Andres Torres’ appendix attack* is far more consequential for our purposes, but the Giants’ outfielder wasn’t the only baseball person to go under the knife this weekend:

Umpire Angel Campos underwent an emergency appendectomy after being scratched from the Cleveland Indians game on Saturday night.

Campos was replaced on the crew Sunday for the Cleveland Indians’ game against the Minnesota Twins by D.J. Reyburn.

The 37-year-old Campos, in his first year of working major league
games, was scheduled to work home plate Saturday, but became ill during a
1-hour, 50-minute rain delay that postponed the start. He was taken to
Lutheran Hospital and had the emergency surgery.

Campos is OK. And the fans in Cleveland were treated to the always fun two-umps-covering-the-basepaths setup for the game.

*I’m a big fan of ratcheting-up the rhetoric when it comes to health issues. One of the neatest things I’ve heard in recent years is how the health care industry is starting to call strokes “brain attacks” so as to emphasize just how serious they are to the public. I think we should do it with everything. Appendix attack. Tooth attack. Nose attack. I may have gone to (and subsequently flunked out of) medical school if there were more action-packed terms associated with it 15 or 20 years ago.

Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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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.