UPDATE: The Orioles announced that Machado has a right knee sprain. That’s a vague diagnosis, but more on his status should be known after he’s reevaluated tomorrow.
8:47 a.m. ET: The high-profile injuries keep on coming, as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was forced to exit tonight’s game against the Yankees in the bottom of the third inning with an apparent injury to his right knee.
Machado suffered the injury after broke his bat on a swing. His right knee buckled and he fell on his back in obvious pain. He needed help getting off the field and down the dugout steps. You can watch it here.
Machado tore the medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee last September and underwent surgery one month later. He didn’t make his season debut until May 1 this year and got off to a slow start upon his return, but he had really taken off recently, hitting .345 with eight homers and 21 RBI over his last 35 games. Another serious knee injury would be quite a blow for the Orioles’ postseason hopes.
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.