Omar Vizquel will probably retire after this year

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Omar Vizquel headshot.jpgOn Monday night Omar Vizquel tied Luis Aparicio for second all-time in hits by a shortstop.  Last night Vizquel said that could very well be the last milestone he hits and that he may very well retire after the season. He’s not yet committing one way or the other, but he did say that “this is probably going to be it.”

If so, nice career. As I said yesterday, not a Hall of Fame career in my mind, but a really, really nice one.  Actually, in the comments to yesterday’s Vizquel post my buddy Joe L. more or less captured my thoughts:

As a longtime Friend of the Feather and unabashed Vizquel fan, I feel
qualified to opine that he is plainly NOT a Hall of Famer.

He’s a classic your-favorite-player-as-a-kid ballplayer because he’s
flashy with the leather, hits a little, and, more than anything,
plainly loves playing baseball.  Which is infectious and endearing, but
is not necessarily the hallmark of a HOFer (see, e.g, Cobb, Ty).

He’s your #1 inductee into Hall of Very Good and Hall of Fun
Ballplayers and Hall of Quick Middle Infielders, but no more than that.  I would love it if he got in, not only because of his days with the
Tribe, but also because I’m a sucker for quick, flashy ballplayers like
Aparicio and Ozzie.  Davey Concepcion is my favorite player of all time
for the love of crumbcake.  But, frankly, he
shouldn’t be in either.
Which is a crying shame, but it’s not the Hall of Good Guys, and it’s
filled with bums who were much better than Omar and Davey, and that’s
just the way it is.

For the love of crumbcake, indeed.

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.