Bill Hall calls Cole Hamels “a marked man” following on-field shouting match

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During this afternoon’s Astros-Phillies game Bill Hall stepped out of the batters’ box to stop from being quick-pitched by Cole Hamels and Hamels responded by throwing the next pitch inside, at which point Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Hall had to be “restrained by home plate umpire Laz Diaz.”

It didn’t go much further than that, as neither bench emptied and both sides were simply issued warnings, but after the game Hall called Hamels “a marked man.”

However, according to Levine it was “not in any sort of way that would imply physical harm, but that he might have taken a little extra delight off the hit he got in his next at-bat.” Hmm.

Here’s more from a very angry Hall:

I don’t know if he was mad because he gave up a homer or if he was mad because the umpire gave me time. But I’m not going to let him speed-pitch me. Obviously, he threw a pitch in, and I’m not going to let him disrespect me either. He kind of said something that I didn’t like too much. It’s over with.

He’s definitely a marked man for me now, so when I do some damage off him, I’m going to let him know I did some damage off him. I can guarantee that. I don’t feel like I do a lot of things to have pitchers mad at me for doing things on the field. I feel like I play the game the right way. But if you disrespect me, I’m going to do my best to disrespect you back. Obviously not in a way to disrespect the game, but obviously I’m going to let him know when I face him.

Hall is just 3-for-22 (.136) with seven strikeouts against Hamels during his career, so if that continues Hall won’t have a whole lot of chances to “let him know I did some damage off him.”

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.