The Orioles claim Jo-Jo Reyes, release Justin Duchscherer

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The Blue Jays waived starter Jo-Jo Reyes and the Orioles have taken a flyer on him.  They also released the last starter they took a flyer on, Justin Duchscherer.

Reyes was 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 110 IP for the Jays this year. You can’t really call it a “bad year,” however, because it’s pretty much the Jo-Jo Reyes we all know.  For his career he’s 10-23 with a 6.04 ERA, all but four games as a starter.  He’ll consume innings as the Orioles play out the string. Nothing more.

The release of Duchscherer was inevitable, but a bit of a bummer all the same. He hadn’t pitched since early last season and didn’t pitch at all in 2009.  Hip problems and depression have basically wrecked his career. A career that, at one time at least, looked promising.

In an ideal world, Justin Duchscherer is pitching major league innings someplace and Jo-Jo Reyes is probably not.  But health is everything when you’re a pitcher, and their example shows it pretty plainly.

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.