Milton Bradley returns to Chicago, says things

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bradley headshot.JPGNaturally, reporters and columnists were licking their chops for Milton Bradley’s return to Chicago this weekend, so even though he didn’t play on Friday due to a sore left calf, it was awful nice of him to throw everyone a bone by continuing to say some rather silly things.

Here’s a sample, via Scot Gregor of the Arlington Daily Herald:

“As a black man playing this game, I just don’t feel like
… you know, the majority of the media is middle-aged white guys, so I
don’t think you can accurately construe what I have to say, or portray
me as who I am, because you don’t know,” Bradley said. “You don’t know
where I come from, nobody has ever asked those questions. They just see
what they see. I never carried a gun, I never hurt anybody, but I am
made out to be something I’m not.”

Not sure about you, but I’m making him out to be an injury-prone .167 hitter who has already had a couple sit-downs with manager Don Wakamatsu. Meanwhile, Carlos Silva is an improbable 2-0 with an 0.95 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and a 12/2 K/BB ratio over his first three starts with the Cubs; success that played a large part in sending Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen.

Of course, logic dictates that Silva will eventually be, well, Carlos Silva, and Bradley will start to get on base at a healthy clip, but what if that doesn’t happen? Seattle can’t be the baseball Siberia he seeks if he doesn’t start to perform. And soon.
 

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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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.