Dillon Gee is looking forward to a healthy 2013.
The 26-year-old right-hander told New York Daily News beat writer Anthony McCarron in a recent phone interview that his winter workouts are going smoothly and that he feels looser and more natural when he throws since having a blood clot removed in mid-July from an artery near his pitching shoulder.
“One of the things with my surgery we were hoping for was, by recouping some of the blood flow I had lost, that my recovery would be better and that seems to be the case so far,” said Gee. “I’m excited. The doctor said he was surprised I could recover every five days as it was, with the lack of blood and oxygen, so hopefully that will make it that much easier to bounce back after every start. You never know what the future holds, but we have a lot of positive signs going.”
Gee posted a solid 4.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 97/29 K/BB ratio across 109 2/3 innings this past 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.