Escobar remains out of Braves' starting lineup

1 Comment

escobar throwing.jpgDave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar is out of the starting lineup for a third straight game Sunday with a strained left abductor. 

Veteran manager Bobby Cox has hinted at the idea of Escobar landing on the 15-day disabled list, but a that all depends on how well the infielder responds to treatment over the next two or three days.  If he shows little progress and is still unavailable by the middle of next week, a short stint on the DL would probably be for the best. 

Omar Infante is filling in for Escobar and managed three hits during Saturday’s game against the Astros.  The Braves might also call up Triple-A infielder Brandon Hicks.  Escobar, 27, is batting just .215 with a .295 on-base percentage through 22 games this year.  He has zero home runs, two stolen bases and eight RBI.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.