Dodgers place Rafael Furcal on disabled list with back injury

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As expected, the Dodgers have placed Rafael Furcal on the disabled list with a strained lower back and called up Juan Castro from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.
After sitting out part of April and most of May with a hamstring injury Furcal hit .319/.381/.518 with eight homers, 26 total extra-base hits, 10 steals, and 41 runs in 57 games before landing back on the shelf.
He hasn’t played since August 2 and the DL stint is retroactive, so he’ll be eligible to return next week if healthy. Jamey Carroll will continue to fill in for Furcal at shortstop, with Castro serving as a utility man.

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.