Jake Peavy tossed a light bullpen session earlier today, after which he was cleared to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte. He is slated to throw around six innings or 90 pitches.
Peavy was placed on the disabled list last week with a right groin strain. If all goes well during his outing Thursday, he could rejoin the White Sox as soon as next week.
While the White Sox employed a six-man rotation prior to his injury, Peavy told Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune earlier today that he would be willing to return as a relief pitcher.
“(Cooper) said it’s certainly something they’ll talk about and discuss,” Peavy said. “Who knows? I just think we got five guys going pretty good right now. We’ve taken some heat about the six-man rotation. Are we doing the right thing or wrong thing? I’m just letting them know my end of the deal. I‘ll do whatever I can do to help.”
Peavy, 30, has never made a relief appearance during his major league career. In fact, his last relief appearance as a professional was in 2000 while pitching with Class A Fort Wayne in the Padres’ pipeline.
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.