Chien-Ming Wang is making his first major league start in a couple of years tomorrow. This will be cause for great celebration in Taipei:
Citizens have been invited to gather at Taipei City Hall to watch a live stream of the Nationals home game against the New York Mets live at 7 p.m. EST (7 a.m. Taiwan time), Taipei city government announced Friday. The city government will co-host a “party” that begins at 6 a.m. for fans to cheer for the Taiwanese right-hander in front of a large screen as three local sports channels will also begin their broadcasts. Fans are encouraged to support Wang with body painting or posters, said the city sports office. Fifteen Nationals jerseys will be given away to the most creative displays. The first 150 people to arrive at the event will also be offered free breakfast.
Eh, I probably wouldn’t go even if I was there. I hear it’s gonna be a total Wang party.
(link via BTF)
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.