Neftali Feliz already cleared to begin throwing program

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When the Rangers placed Neftali Feliz on the disabled list last week, they said his injury was minor. They said he’d be back within two weeks.

So far, it looks like they’re going to be right.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Feliz was cleared to begin a throwing program on Wednesday morning and played catch comfortably at a distance of 90 feet in the afternoon.

The 22-year-old closer is eligible to return to the Rangers’ bullpen on May 6 and the Texas training staff is confident that he will be ready to rock by then.

Feliz has a 1.08 ERA through eight relief appearances this season and has successfully converted his first five save opportunities. Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes have been handling the ninth inning in his absence.

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.