Marlins pitcher Brad Penny made his first appearance in the major leagues since 2012 and his first start since 2011 and went home with the win as the Fish won 4-3 over the Reds in Cincinnati. Penny went five innings, allowed four hits, walked four, and struck out three.
Penny, 36, has been well-traveled since his last appearance in the majors in 2012 with the Giants as a reliever. He signed a minor league deal with the Royals in January and was released in early March. The Marlins decided to pick him up on a minor league contract in June. He made two starts at Single-A Jupiter in early July and five with Triple-A New Orleans between July 13 and August 4, posting a combined 3.05 ERA with a 30/9 K/BB ratio over 38 1/3 innings.
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.