The Mets first baseman is having a train wreck of a season thus far. He’s hitting .147/.236/.245, which is horrible even on a horrible Mets offense. And his poor hitting seems to be infecting his fielding too. See, yesterday’s non-play on a ball he though was foul but which he turned into a game-killing double.
With all of Ike Davis’ struggles, there has been a growing chorus calling for him to be demoted to Las Vegas. But it hasn’t happened yet. Why? Andy Martino of the Daily News has multiple possible explanations. This one sort of seems the most satisfying, though:
One source said that Sandy Alderson is out of town until Friday. This is not a determining factor, but it is not trivial, either; if the team is going to demote a core player, the general manager would want to be in the meeting, able to explain the decision to Davis.
It would be hard for a guy who has been told he’s one of the franchise’s cornerstones to be sent down via a cell phone call, so maybe that’s what everyone is waiting for. But Martino has some non-logistical answers too.
No matter the case, it’s been ugly so far for Davis. Whether it’s Queens or Vegas, he’s gotta figure it out soon.
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.