Josh Hamilton has played through a possible sports hernia for about two months now. And now that the season is over, he can finally get it checked out.
According to Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas, Hamilton will take about a week off before being examined by Dr. William Myers in Philadelphia. Myers previously performed surgery on Hamilton in 2009 to repair a torn abdominal muscle. He has yet to see a doctor for his most recent injury, which was originally described as a left groin strain.
“You’re always concerned when surgery is being brought up, but he had surgery in ’09 and bounced back and won the MVP,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “Maybe that will be the lucky surgery.”
Outside of the two-run homer in Game 6, Hamilton struggled to hit the ball with much authority during the postseason, batting .271/.289/.414 with .704 OPS in 17 games. The 30-year-old outfielder batted .298/.346/.536 with 25 homers, 94 RBI and an .882 OPS during the regular 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.