Nyjer Morgan will practice with the San Jose Sharks tomorrow

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We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan cross-check major league catchers in the past, but he’ll have a chance to go back to his roots tomorrow. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the outspoken outfielder will suit up to practice with his hometown San Jose Sharks.

“I’m really excited to get on the ice with the team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I’m not sure the guys are ready for me!”

Morgan gave up hockey about a decade ago in order to focus on baseball, but he did play with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999-2000. You can watch him on the ice here. He scored two goals in seven games and wouldn’t you know it, he also logged 20 penalty minutes.

Zack Greinke began last season on the disabled list after breaking his rib in a pickup basketball game prior to spring training, so some minor trepidation on the Brewers’ part would be understandable, but GM Doug Melvin told McCalvy that they aren’t concerned given Morgan’s previous experience as a hockey player. The Brewers and Morgan avoided arbitration earlier this month by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract, but the deal is not guaranteed.

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.