Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter snapped Minnesota’s losing streak last night, but it didn’t put a stop to the Twins’ never-ending string of injuries.
Jim Thome has been placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and backup outfielder Jason Repko joins him on the shelf with a sore quadriceps. To replace them on the roster the Twins called up infielder Trevor Plouffe and outfielder Ben Revere from Triple-A.
Revere joins an outfield mix that includes Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Rene Tosoni, who got the call-up over Revere when Delmon Young was placed on the DL last week.
Plouffe is a lesser prospect than Revere, but his short-term role may prove more substantial because the Twins are finally running out of patience with enigmatic infielder Alexi Casilla, who for now has been moved to second base after struggling mightily as the starting shortstop.
Thome going to the DL takes a big bat out of an already struggling lineup, but he’s been limited by the oblique soreness since last week and there’s no sense in risking further injury with a 40-year-old DH.
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.