Troy Tulowitzki is out of tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers after he suffered a left shoulder strain yesterday on an awkward slide into home plate.
While it was easy to think the worst given Tulowitzki’s lengthy injury history, fortunately this injury appears to be minor. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that the 28-year-old shortstop is “doing well” and might hit today. Assuming he doesn’t feel any lingering pain, he could return to the lineup as soon as tomorrow or Wednesday.
Tulowitzki is hitting .308/.394/.603 with six home runs, 22 RBI and a .996 OPS over 24 games this season for the surprising Rockies. He was limited to just 47 games last season due to a groin injury and hasn’t played more than 143 games in a season since 2009.
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.