It remains to be seen how well Mark Trumbo’s attempted transition to third base will fare–he took a ground ball off the face there earlier this week–but in the meantime doctors have deemed his fractured right foot healed enough to resume full baseball activities.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times notes that Trumbo “has been taking ground balls hit right at him for about a month, but he will now begin fielding grounders hit to each side and to charge slow rollers and bunts.”
DiGiovanna also says the Angels are only hoping that Trumbo can play 40-50 games at third base, which is certainly more realistic than expecting him to become a decent regular there after previously never playing the position in the minors or majors. Of course, even a part-time role at third base seems likely to be ugly for Trumbo, but as with many of the Angels’ decisions this spring it all stems from their first base/corner outfield/designated hitter logjam.
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.