Petco Park claims another victim as Padres fire hitting coach Randy Ready

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Earlier this season general manager Jed Hoyer tried to deflect criticism aimed at hitting coach Randy Ready for the Padres’ offensive struggles, but today the team fired Ready after 2.5 seasons on the job.

San Diego scored the second-fewest runs in the league, so firing the hitting coach certainly isn’t shocking, but it’s worth noting that Petco Park played a huge role in those weak scoring totals. Away from the majors’ most extreme hitters’ ballpark the Padres scored the NL’s sixth-most road runs.

In other words, when playing in normal, non-extreme hitting environments the Padres’ lineup was slightly above average. When playing at home they were horrendous, but Petco Park turns just about every offense into a punchless one. Which is why in eight seasons calling Petco Park home the Padres have ranked 8th, 13th, 13th, 9th, 16th, 15th, 12th, and 15th among NL teams in overall scoring.

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.