The Royals had Chris Getz replace Alex Gordon in the leadoff spot Friday against the White Sox, but it proved to be a one-day experiment. Getz suffered a broken left thumb bunting in the fifth inning and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Getz was 0-for-3 in the game, leaving him at .275/.312/.360 in 189 at-bats for the year. He usually doesn’t start against lefties, but the Royals had him in there tonight because he was 6-for-11 lifetime against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
With Getz out, the Royals figure to turn second base over to Johnny Giavotella, who is hitting .323/.404/.472 for Triple-A Omaha. As much as it has to suck for Getz, the injury might benefit the Royals for the long haul: they need to let Giavotella play every day and see if he’s going to be their long-term answer at second base. He’ll get that opportunity now, and the Royals can determine this winter whether to go forward with him as a regular.
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.