Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t played a game for the Rockies since May 30, but we heard last week that he was hoping to make his return from groin surgery for the final series of the regular season this week against the Diamondbacks. Not anymore.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki is now expected to finish his season in the instructional league rather than rejoin the Rockies. He played six innings at shortstop today and even hit a home run. Even though he won’t play in one of the final two regular season games, he should still go into the offseason with some peace of mind.
Tulowitzki, who turns 28 next week, batted .287/.360/.486 with eight home runs, 27 RBI and an .846 OPS in 47 games played this year. He’s still guaranteed $144 million on the massive 10-year, $157.75 million extension he signed with the Rockies last year.
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.