Bad news for one of the Giants’ top prospects, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that outfielder Mac Williamson will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow tomorrow.
Williamson has been bothered by the elbow injury all spring. The 23-year-old was originally expected to begin the season with Double-A Richmond, but the Giants sent him back to High-A San Jose so he could serve exclusively as a designated hitter. However, he couldn’t play through the discomfort any longer. Position players often return from Tommy John surgery more quickly than pitchers, but the surgery is expected to end his season.
Williamson was a third-round pick in 2012 and batted .292/.375/.504 with 25 home runs and 10 stolen bases over 136 games last season in High-A. Baseball America ranked him as the Giants’ No. 5 prospect over the winter.
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.