On Saturday against the Giants, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig injured his thumb diving head-first into first base. Puig underwent X-rays but the team did not announce results until Sunday night. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Puig has been diagnosed with a strained ligament in his left thumb and is day-to-day.
In the third inning against Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, Puig hit a ground ball up the middle, forcing shortstop Brandon Crawford to range far to his left. Crawford wheeled and fired but pulled Brandon Belt off of the first base bag. Puig, though, sensed it would be a close play and dove head-first in attempt to give himself an advantage (though such dive attempts typically hinder, not help, in that regard). After the umpire ruled him safe, Puig remained on the ground in pain. After getting up, Puig was standing on first base, doubled over in pain. However, he stayed in the game and finished 1-for-4.
Fortunately for Puig, the Dodgers have an off-day on Monday, so he could return to game action on Tuesday against the Tigers.
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.