Mike Pelfrey cleared for Friday start after recent flu virus

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Mike Pelfrey has been cleared to start tonight’s series opener against the Phillies, despite a recent flu bug that caused him to lose 11 pounds over the course of the past week.

The Mets considered using Dillon Gee for a spot start, but Terry Collins told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News yesterday that Pelfrey’s condition has improved over the past few days.

“He said he feels much better today, and better than he did his last start,”  Terry Collins said.  “We’re going to let him go out there tomorrow.”

Pelfrey actually tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks last Friday night. It was his best outing of the young season, though as he told the New York Post in excruciating detail, he wasn’t feeling too hot.

“I started getting ready for the game and I started getting real hot and started sweating,” Pelfrey said. “Felt it in my stomach, head and chest. I went out to the bullpen, my bullpen wasn’t very good. I kept coughing. In the sixth inning I puked in my mouth and swallowed it on the mound.”

What’s everyone having for lunch today?

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.