Carlos Ruiz says Roy Oswalt’s fastball “had no life” Thursday

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Roy Oswalt allowed three runs on seven hits during a rough seven-inning rehab start Thursday night for Single-A Clearwater then dipped out of the minor league clubhouse before chatting with reporters.

Why the rush? This tweet from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer might explain it:

[Carlos] Ruiz said Oswalt’s fastball had no life for most of the start. Off by about 4 mph in general.

Gelb then spoke with a scout, who confirmed that Oswalt did not have his normal fastball velocity. The 33-year-old veteran regularly hits 93 MPH when he’s at his best, but was clocking in between 88-90 MPH on Thursday evening in Florida.

The Phillies were hoping to activate Oswalt from the disabled list in time for a Tuesday night matchup with the Cardinals, but the poor radar gun numbers could certainly lead to a reassessment of that plan.

Oswalt has been sidelined since the last week of April with lower back inflammation. He had a 3.33 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 21/7 K/BB ratio over his first five starts of the 2011 regular season.

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.