I was looking through some second-half stats and thought the OPS leaders since the All-Star break were an interesting group:
Jayson Werth 1.261
Miguel Cabrera 1.241
Mike Trout 1.134
Wil Myers 1.116
Ike Davis 1.110
Jayson Werth is hitting .361 with 13 homers and a 1.037 OPS in 59 games since coming off the disabled list in early June, raising his season OPS from .708 to .931 during that time.
Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout are basically repeating last year’s MVP debate. Wil Myers is showing why so many people criticized the Royals for trading him to the Rays for two seasons of James Shields.
And then there’s Ike Davis, who hit .161 through mid-June to earn a demotion to Triple-A, rejoined the Mets a month later, and is hitting .305 with 28 walks and a .482 on-base percentage in 31 games since returning.
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.