The Angels topped the Tigers 3-2 last night and have won 13 out of their last 16 games to improve to 75-63 on the year. While they currently sit just two games back in the Wild Card race, they will be without their ace for a little while longer.
Jered Weaver is currently shut down due to right biceps tendinitis. While it was initially thought that that the injury was due to him being hit by a line drive last Sunday, Weaver told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times yesterday that he has felt discomfort in the shoulder dating back to a start against the Athletics on August 6.
“It’s been lingering ever since,” Weaver said. “I’ve pitched through this before. I’d do the treatment. But when it feels like it was getting better, I would have to throw 100 to 120 pitches and it sets me back again.”
Weaver has a 6.14 ERA in five starts since August 6 and has allowed seven home runs in just 29 1/3 innings, so it appears that the shoulder had an impact on his performance. An MRI this week didn’t show anything more than “normal wear and tear,” so the hope is that some rest will do the trick. He’s scheduled to throw from on the side from 75 to 90 feet today after which the next step will be decided, but he said he’s determined to return this year, even if he has to do it at less than 100 percent.
Weaver, 29, is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 121/38 K/BB ratio over 25 starts this season. He ranks first in the American League with a 1.03 WHIP.
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.