Andrew Bailey was off to a great start this season prior to landing on the disabled list earlier this month with right biceps inflammation, but the Red Sox are hoping the issue is behind him.
According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Bailey had no issues during a bullpen session this afternoon and is slated to make a minor league rehab appearance Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket. If all goes well, he’s expected to be activated for Monday’s series opener against the White Sox in Chicago.
Bailey will get the closer role back from Junichi Tazawa as soon as he rejoins the club, but Farrell wants there to be an open line of communication about his health moving forward.
“The one thing we spoke about at length was to be sure that we get a true read on how he feels after each outing and to balance recovery time and his availability,” Farrell said.
Bailey had a 1.46 ERA, five saves and 20/4 K/BB ratio over 12 1/3 innings prior to the injury. He hasn’t thrown more than 49 innings in a season since his rookie season in 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.