Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reported yesterday that Adrian Beltre was going to miss 10-14 days with a Grade 1 strain of his right calf, but Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that timetable is “a tad optimistic.”
According to Heyman, Beltre could miss as much as a month with the injury. Durrett wrote yesterday that “the club does not expect this to hinder his ability to be ready for Opening Day,” but Heyman’s estimate would be cutting things pretty close. The Rangers are scheduled to kick off the season on Friday, April 1 against the Red Sox.
You might remember that Jimmy Rollins had consecutive month-long stints on the disabled list last season with a Grade 2 strain of his right calf. No two players are the same, of course, but the Rangers may give Beltre extra time so that he doesn’t immediately aggravate the injury.
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.