Jake Peavy fires first shutout since August of 2005

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White Sox starter Jake Peavy was scratched from a start on Thursday after complaining of discomfort in his throwing arm.  He was later revealed to have inflammation and fluid in his shoulder, but the White Sox decided to let him pitch on Saturday anyway.  Recipe for disaster, right?

Wrong.

Peavy held the Nationals to three singles and struck out seven batters on Saturday afternoon to earn his first complete-game shutout victory since August of 2005, when he was a starter for the Padres.  The right-hander has allowed only four earned runs in his last 23 innings on the mound and he has racked up 15 strikeouts in that span.  After a rough start to the season, he’s now 6-5 with a rapidly-falling 5.07 ERA and a respectable 1.26 WHIP.

Of course, Peavy isn’t the only member of the White Sox getting things right these days.  The club has won a season-high five straight games and trails the AL Central-leading Twins by 5.5 games.  It’s getting sunny on Chicago’s south side.

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.