Brian Roberts is feeling better

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Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has not played baseball since last May due to multiple concussions. And he missed all but 59 games in 2010 for the same reason. Earlier this month the outlook still seemed kinda grim.

There is some decent news now, though, as Roberts has continued to work out and is slowly getting back into something approaching a normal routine.  From an interview with Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:

I haven’t had to take any days off, which is good.  [I’m] starting to continue to do a little more, starting to go out and watch some games and watch some innings and get in atmospheres and environments that I need to reacclimate to a little bit more …  it was good to get out there and kind of see some game speed stuff, track the ball and be in that sort of environment again.

It’s not a lot, but Roberts sounds at least somewhat hopeful.

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.