The Reds are going to turn Aroldis Chapman into a reliever

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At least temporarily, it seems. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer quotes  GM Walt Jocketty sayingWith Volquez
coming on and Bailey not that far away, it’s the best opportunity for
him.”

I seem to beat this drum every other day, but I really don’t like this kind of move.  Chapman is young, he has electric stuff, he’s always started and he’s green.  The only way to turn him into an effective starter is to give him more chances to learn to pace himself, to work on mastering his secondary pitches and to gain experience getting guys out two or three times a game.  To turn him into a one-inning guy would do his development a serious disservice.

This is especially true for the Reds who wouldn’t even be using Chapman as a closer or even a setup guy — they have Arthur Rhodes and Francisco Cordero for that.  No, he’s be pitching in the seventh inning at best. He could even be used as a lefty specialist which would mess with his development even further.

I know the Reds are in the race right now and that they could use a bullpen arm, but they don’t need to screw up their top prospect just to do it. Call David Weathers or something. He wants to pitch in the Reds’ bullpen.

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.