Johan Santana is one of the best pitchers of this generation and he’s coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries at age 35.
Dylan Bundy is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball and he’s coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery at age 21.
They’re both in Orioles camp and Adam Berry of MLB.com writes that they “have developed somewhat of a competitive relationship as they work their way back to game action.” Bundy is currently throwing from flat ground, whereas Santana has advanced to throwing from a half-mound, and so “Bundy was lobbying to catch up to Santana and throw off a higher mound.”
Not exactly breaking news or anything–both pitchers are hoping to make an impact for the Orioles in the second half–but little stuff like this always makes me smile.
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.