Ted Lilly has allowed six runs in each of his last three starts and had his next turn in the rotation pushed back a day because of what Ken Gurnick of MLB.com calls “a tender left elbow.”
And even while trying to downplay the injury’s impact on his recent performance Lilly told Gurnick that his elbow has “been off and on for a while.”
He’s had to skip several between-start bullpen sessions, so another poor outing tonight against the Mets could force the Dodgers to shut him down in the hopes of actually letting him get past the elbow problems rather than simply continuing to pitch through them.
Lilly has a 4.97 ERA overall, which would be his worst mark since 2005 and includes a 7.01 ERA since June 1. And the Dodgers still owe the 35-year-old left-hander $10.5 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013.
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.