Someone told Jeff Francoeur that his former Mets’ teammate David Wright wasn’t happy with Citi Field, and Francoeur responded:
“Poor David hits the ball to right-center so well and there it’s an out. They’ve gotta shorten the park up. It’s huge. I’m not saying make it a bandbox like Philadelphia, but they have to do something.”
I’m still rather vexed at people using Philly as a go-to reference as a bandbox, because after the first year or two of that park’s existence it has played rather straight-up as far as I can tell.
As for Citi Field, yeah, it’s tough. But a lot of hitters played in tough parks. How many home runs does DiMaggio hit if left field played fair in old Yankee Stadium? How many does Mays hit if he’s not in Candlestick? How many homers did the Astrodome rob guys of over the years?
Life isn’t fair. Baseball isn’t fair. Why so much time has been spent feeling sorry for “poor David Wright” is beyond me. You’d think that he was the first guy to ever have a park that wasn’t suited for him.
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.