Mark Teixeira will start Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game with a right knee contusion, but the Yankees and Red Sox will be missing key players tonight.
Jorge Posada left the Yankees to be with his 11-year-old son as he undergoes surgery. The Posada family is hoping that this ninth operation is the final surgery for Jorge III, who was born with craniosynostosis, a condition involving the bones of the skull.
Posada went 3-for-3 off the bench after replacing Teixeira at first base last night and certainly would have been in the lineup as a DH tonight. Since he’s absent, the Yankees are using Alex Rodriguez as a DH and playing Eduardo Nunez at third base.
The Red Sox are without their catcher due to an illness. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was sent to the hospital because of flu-like symptoms, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be available at all. With Salty out, the Red Sox are having Jason Varitek catch a Tim Wakefield start for the first time since 2005.
If the Red Sox don’t think Salty will be able to play these next couple of days, then they’ll probably make a roster move to add a catcher before the game. Both Jed Lowrie (shoulder) and Bobby Jenks (back) are candidates to go on the disabled list.
Update – The Red Sox did opt to make a move for a catcher, putting Jenks back on the disabled list with his back injury and calling up Luis Exposito.
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.