Dodgers’ reliever Jonathan Broxton hasn’t pitched since early May due to a bum elbow, but until now there had always been some lingering hope that he’d be back this season. Hope to what end I have no idea because there hasn’t been a truly meaningful Dodgers game for months, but trainers don’t really concern themselves with that sort of thing.
Anyway, Broxton never got right enough to get into rehab appearances and get on a track back to the bigs, and the Dodgers have finally acknowledged the inevitable: that a little over two weeks from now the whole shebang is over until everyone meets up at Camelback Ranch next February and thus there is not enough time to get him back into fighting shape. Well, Jonathan Broxton fighting shape. Which is sort of like a distorted rhombus.
Where Broxton will be then is unclear, because he’s a free agent this winter and not even the Dodgers are in the business of signing faltering closers with bad elbows to contract extensions. Maybe the Yankees will do that, but not the Dodgers.
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.