Bryan Stow undergoes emergency surgery; L.A. county increases reward in the criminal investigation

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The Los Angeles Times reports that Bryan Stow suffered a 30-second seizure earlier this week and that, as a result, he underwent emergency surgery to alleviate fluid build-up on his brain.  There is no word in the linked story as to how that has changed his overall condition, but obviously emergency surgery is not a good thing.

In other news, while there is one suspect in custody in the Stow case, no one has been charged and the investigation continues.  Accordingly, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has increased the reward for information leading to arrests in the case. Before they were offering $10,000, now it’s $25,000.  The Dodgers continue to offer $200,000.

The guy they have in custody — Giovanni Ramirez — is being held on an unrelated parole violation. His girlfriend was recently arrested too, though there is no suggestion of a connection as of yet.  There is word, however, that the police are having difficulty making a case against Ramirez due to multiple friends and family members offering him alibis, so this all remains somewhat depressing.

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.