Everyone’s going crazy for Yasiel Puig, but NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy thinks the All-Stars he picks to fill out his roster need a few more miles on the odometer.
Bochy spoke with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today about the possibility of Puig on the squad:
“Well, Jim, I’ve got to be honest here, that would be really hard for me to consider that. And I’ve already had that question. I guess there was somebody who wrote they would like to see him there and that he deserves to go because this game is for the fans and they want to see not just the best players, but the most interesting or intriguing players. I would have a hard time picking somebody who has been here three weeks, to be honest.
Puig isn’t on the ballot and with Clayton Kershaw being his usually awesome self, Puig won’t have to be there as a “we need a Dodger” pick. And that stuff aside, Bochy doesn’t strike me as a guy who is going to respond to some June breakout/mania like so many others.
Although it would be sweet if, just to troll the world, he decided to name Juan Perez to the All-Star team based on a week’s worth of stellar defensive play.
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.