The Braves have a new weapon for their bullpen just in time for the postseason.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves have activated right-hander Kris Medlen from the 60-day disabled list.
Medlen hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. It looked like he was done for the season after suffering a setback in his rehab earlier this summer, but he was able to throw two innings in the Braves’ instructional league earlier this week. If he impresses over the next few days, he could be included in the Braves’ bullpen should they reach the postseason.
Medlen, who turns 26 next month, has a 3.90 ERA and 155/51 K/BB ratio over 175 1/3 innings in the majors. He had a 3.68 ERA and 81/23 K/BB ratio over 14 starts and 17 relief appearances last season before suffering a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
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.