The Blue Jays’ sad year just got a little more depressing: Jose Bautista was placed on the DL after Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep by the Yankees.
The cause is a bone bruise in his left hip that knocked out of this afternoon’s matinee. According to Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi, Bautista hurt the hip weeks ago as he was running from third base to the plate on his way to scoring run.
Bautista entered the day tied for fifth in the AL with 28 homers, tied for 12th with 73 RBI and 10th with an .856 OPS.
The move means Toronto’s entire starting outfield is on the DL. Melky Cabrera has been out since Aug. 2 with a strained left knee, and Colby Rasmus went on the DL a week ago with a strained left oblique.
Kevin Pillar, Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose had been filling in for those two of late. Now they can all play, though someone like Ricardo Nanita or Moises Sierra could be called up to help out. No corresponding roster move was immediately announced.
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.