Magglio Ordonez has been cleared for game action after taking two weeks off to rest his surgically repaired ankle, so he’ll begin a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A.
According to Jason Beck of MLB.com the Tigers haven’t said how long they expect Ordonez to spend in the minors, so presumably his bat will determine the timetable after he hit just .172 in 26 games before being placed on the disabled list.
Jim Leyland told Beck that he’s “really anxious to see if Magglio can get back in there.” Complicating the issue is that Ordonez will have to play the outfield when he’s in the lineup thanks to Alex Avila’s strong play at catcher making Victor Martinez a fixture at designated hitter.
Platooning the right-handed-hitting Ordonez with the left-handed-hitting Brennan Boesch would limit the wear and tear on his ankle while also giving him favorable matchups against left-handed pitching.
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.