Starting next year the United States Postal Service will issue “Major League Baseball All-Star” stamps honoring “four players who were perennial All-Star selections and left an indelible impression on the game.”
Today they announced that Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio is the first player to be honored, with Kadir Nelson doing the artwork. I’ve never gotten into stamp collecting, but the design looks very nice.
The press release notes that “many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time,” which is certainly true. But my hope is that the player I consider the greatest of that era, Ted Williams, will also be among the four honored.
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.