Checking in with R.A. Dickey on Mount Kilimanjaro

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As we’ve noted a couple of times, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. As in, he’s doing it right now.  And the New York Times is running his journal entries.  Don’t read it if you prefer your ballplayers to say stuff like “I just want to help the ballclub” and “I just want to give 110%.”

Thankfully, my journey thus far has not solely been glimpses of my own mortality, but also of great splendor and beauty. Never have these words been more useful to me than in my attempt to describe the sights of the past two days.

Follow along with baseball’s most interesting dude here.

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.