UPDATE: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Ozzie Guillen isn’t pleased. Joe Cowley passes along word of what he said when someone asked him if Jenks was still his closer: “You know what? Ask Bobby what he wants to do because I don’t know.”
4:17 P.M.: Bobby Jenks has been in Ozzie Guillen’s doghouse at least twice this season, most recently last week, and before that back in May. And of course, there was all of that back and forth at the end of last season and over the winter about Jenks’ conditioning. The upshot: he’s never had a long leash to begin with, and it’s gotten shorter as the year has worn on.
But now, I’m guessing, Ozzie is at the end of his rope, as Jenks blew yet another lead this afternoon when he came into the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead over the Tigers and gave up a three-run homer to Ryan Raburn of the Tigers, which sent the game to extra innings.
As I hit “publish” on this post it appears as though the Sox are going to pull it out, but I have this feeling that the result of the game won’t save Jenks’ job.
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.