After allowing seven runs against the Indians on Friday and seeing his season ERA rise to 6.00, Carl Pavano will undergo an MRI on his shoulder Sunday.
He said the shoulder has bothered him off-and-on since spring training and that he already had an MRI earlier this season.
“I think it’s just irritated, but we’ve got to find out where we’re at because we’ve exhausted everything at this point,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something that would require surgery or be career-ending. But at the same time, when you take steps to remedy something and things stand still, instead of getting better, you have to take the next step.”
If the MRI comes back OK, the Twins could have Pavano just skip one start and replace him with Jeff Manship on Wednesday. However, they’re also looking at the possibility of moving Brian Duensing back to the rotation, something that would be more of a long-term move. Duensing has a 3.08 ERA in 26 1/3 innings out of the pen 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.