Yesterday we heard that if Oliver Perez had another bad outing that he could have been run out of town on a rail. So lucky for him he didn’t have another bad outing. In fact, he had a darn good one: two scoreless innings, no walks and more strikes than balls. It probably bought him another start.
But it probably didn’t save his skin. Andy Martino reports that Perez is still probably a dead man walking as far as the Mets are concerned:
While Oliver Perez remains officially in the rotation competition, the Mets have decided internally that he will not be a starter during the regular season, sources say, and the team remains likely to release its $36 million pitcher before Opening Day. But Perez probably pitched well enough Thursday to earn another Grapefruit League appearance.
Really: what’s the point of giving him another start if he’s not going to be on the team? There are a finite number of innings to be doled out during spring training. Why not give them to someone who might actually benefit the Mets in 2011?
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.