Someone seems a bit surly.
Before last night’s Angels-Twins game, the Angels hitters and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher had their usual pre-series meeting. During the meeting Albert Pujols stood up and said some inspiring words of some kind about how he’s going to turn it around and go team and all of that.
That’s cool. Good to see the big man keep his confidence up. Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher thought it was good too, and he told the media about it after the game. Then someone asked Albert about it. Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com tells us, however, that Pujols wasn’t too happy:
“Mickey should have never told you guys that,” Pujols said. “That stuff needs to be private. He should have never told the media. What we talked about at the meeting, not disrespecting Mickey, but that stuff should stay behind closed doors.”
Pujols said he intends to speak with Hatcher about the matter.
Jeez, lighten up, Frances.
In other news: Emo Albert.
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.