Shaun Marcum’s status for his next scheduled start is still up in the air.
Marcum, who left Friday’s start against the Red Sox after just one inning with a left hip flexor strain, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session earlier today, according to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Marcum was cleared to throw after being examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch earlier today, but the Brewers have yet to make a decision about whether he will start Wednesday against the Rays.
“I have my thoughts on what I want to do, but we’ll see what everyone else wants to do before we make a decision,” he said. “I want to pitch, but that’s just me.
“The ball was coming out of my hand well. I didn’t really feel anything, so I feel like it’s only going to get better. It can’t get worse.”
Rosiak reports that Marcum is expected to do some fielding drills tomorrow to see how his hip reacts getting off the mound, so we’ll likely know something more definitive in the next 24 hours. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said today that Marco Estrada will likely fill in if Marcum is unable to make the start.
Marcum, who was acquired from the Blue Jays for prospect Brett Lawrie last December, is 7-2 with a 2.85 ERA and 84/24 K/BB ratio over his first 15 starts this season.
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.