For every 10,000 or so players who arrive at spring training amid reports that they’re in the best shape of their life there’s someone for whom the opposite is true.
Today that someone is new Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
Last season Pineda was listed at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, so walking into camp in mid-February at 280 isn’t such a big deal, but it’s refreshing to read something that suggests not every single baseball player got into great shape during the offseason.
Incidentally, the one-two punch of CC Sabathia and Pineda has to be the largest duo in baseball, right?
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.