Michael Pineda is officially back from his 10-game suspension for having pine tar on his neck, so the Yankees have placed him on the disabled list.
Pineda suffered a teres major muscle strain last week while throwing a simulated game to keep his arm strength intact during the suspension and is now expected to miss 3-4 weeks with the injury.
After missing all of 2012 and 2013 with shoulder problems Pineda looked fantastic through his first four starts, throwing 20 innings with a 1.93 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio up until the point he got booted by umpires in the second inning on April 23.
Workload-wise taking a few more weeks off may not be such a bad thing for Pineda long term, but that assumes the injury doesn’t linger of course. David Phelps will continue to fill in for Pineda in the Yankees’ rotation.
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.