I feel like we’ve reported on this multiple times already, but now it’s finally offical. The Mets have named their coaching staff: Dave Hudgens is the hitting coach, Ken Oberkfell is the bench coach, Mookie Wilson as first base coach, Chip Hale as third base coach, Dan Warthen is the pitching coach and Jon Debus as bullpen coach.
Don Long and Andy Van Slyke interviewed for the hitting coach’s job. Larry Bowa had been mentioned as a possible bench coach. Wally Backman was going to lead the pep squad, but the Wilpons decided that they needed to cut costs and eliminated that essential position.
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.