Here are the starting lineups and batting orders for the All-Star game:
AMERICAN LEAGUE NATIONAL LEAGUE
1. Mike Trout, LF 1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
2. Robinson Cano, 2B 2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B 3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Chris Davis, 1B 4. David Wright, 3B
5. Jose Bautista, RF 5. Carlos Gonzalez, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH 6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Adam Jones, CF 7. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
8. Joe Mauer, C 8. Michael Cuddyer, DH
9. J.J. Hardy, SS 9. Bryce Harper, CF
Fans didn’t vote for a National League designated hitter so manager Bruce Bochy chose Michael Cuddyer as the DH, which makes sense considering he’s hitting .330 with 16 homers and a .960 OPS that ranks second in the league.
It’s pretty silly to care about All-Star game batting orders, but Brandon Phillips hitting leadoff is amusing considering he has a .320 on-base percentage this year and a .321 OBP for his career. Meanwhile, Bryce Harper and his .371 on-base percentage hit ninth. Of course, All-Star starters tend to only play a few innings anyway, so … whatever.
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.