The Cards are finally starting to get good news.
Jon Jay hit a triple, a home run and crossed the plate three times Wednesday evening in his second rehab game with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He went 1-for-3 in his first rehab game, and is now 3-for-7 since being cleared for minor league action.
Jay has been on the shelf since mid-May with a shoulder sprain suffered on the play pictured in this post. If all continues to run smoothly, he could be cleared to return to the Cardinals’ starting lineup at some point during the team’s upcoming weekend series in Kansas City.
The 27-year-old center fielder was batting .343/.395/.438 with two home runs, four stolen bases and 18 runs scored in 117 plate appearances before landing on the disabled list. St. Louis is 14-19 in his absence.
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.