As was mentioned in the recaps this morning, Chipper Jones hurt his oblique in yesterday’s loss to the Cubs. He was originally listed as day-to-day, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he got a cortisone shot today and because of whatever voodoo accompanies cortisone shots he’s out until at least Monday, and may miss some more time.
My guess is that he’ll once again begin pursuing Cal Ripken’s Iron Man title on Wednesday of next week, due to the no-travel offday Tuesday which would give him some more time to heal. Also worth noting is that between Eric Hinske, Troy Glaus Martin Prado and Omar Infante, the Braves are rotten with guys who can at least pretend to play a little third base if need be. My guess is that they’ll either plug Infante directly at third or else play Infante at second and move Prado over.
While all of this may be distressing to some Braves fans, David O’Brien reminded us this morning that the team went 9-1 when Chipper missed ten games last season. Fact is, the offense doesn’t depend on him the way it used to and the Braves will get by without him for a few days.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.