No one has paid much attention to the Marlins because they’re so terrible, but 20-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez is having an incredible rookie season.
Fernandez shut out the Padres for eight innings last night, striking out 10, walking one, and allowing just two hits to slice his ERA to 2.72 in 16 starts. He has a fantastic 94/33 K/BB ratio in 93 innings and has held opponents to a .193 batting average, all while jumping from Single-A to the big leagues and being the second-youngest player in baseball behind only Bryce Harper.
Fernandez has MLB’s fourth-highest average fastball velocity at 94.7 miles per hour–trailing only Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, and Jeff Samardzija–and check out where his strikeout rate of 9.1 per nine innings ranks among all 20-year-old pitchers in baseball history:
Rick Ankiel 2000 9.9
Jose Fernandez 2013 9.1
Dwight Gooden 1985 8.7
CC Sabathia 2001 8.5
F. Valenzuela 1981 8.4
Say what you will about the Marlins in general, but they always seem to find a way to develop young stars and not many teams can boast a hitter-pitcher duo as young and talented as 20-year-old Jose Fernandez and 23-year-old Giancarlo Stanton.
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.