Ike Davis has been about as bad as a major leaguer can be this season, hitting .159 with 44 strikeouts in 42 games at an offense-driven position while producing a .503 OPS that ranks 172nd out of 176 qualified batters.
That’s more than 400 points below the mark he posted in 38 games last season before injuries derailed him, yet according to what Davis told Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal this afternoon manager Terry Collins has assured him that the Mets will not send him to the minors.
That doesn’t guarantee how much he’ll play, of course, and in fact Collins has now taken to benching the left-handed-hitting Davis against left-handed pitchers in favor of journeyman Vinny Rottino. And while Collins has assured Davis of his spot in the majors for now, it’s easy to see that changing whenever Jason Bay returns from the disabled list and the Mets’ corner outfield/first base logjam gets even more crowded.
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.