It’s funny, right, that two of St. Louis’ three starting outfielders are now being bothered by injuries and not one of them bears the name Lance Berkman?
B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest passes along notice that Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday had to be lifted after the second inning of Wednesday evening’s game against the Astros due to tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.
Holliday appeared to tweak a leg muscle while trailing back on an Angel Sanchez fly ball to left field in the first inning. Holliday made the catch, but he had to travel a long way in a short period of time and may have strained something. Mark Hamilton took over out in left field and at cleanup one inning later.
Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus is also being bothered by an injury, thought to be an ab strain.
UPDATE: Forget the health praise for Berkman. He exited in the fifth inning after making a diving catch and coming up with a sore wrist, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It might have been a precautionary move because the Cards have a big lead on the Astros.
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.