Heath Bell continues to struggle

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Last night was a good night to stink because so much other stuff was happening. This is especially true if your team won.  And it’s especially true if the stat that says you stink — blown save — was given to another guy.  But don’t think you got away with this, Heath Bell, we were watching.  You screwed up again.

Bell was called into the ninth inning of the Marlins-Giants game with his team on top 2-0.  He then allowed two runs on three hits while failing to record an out.  He was bailed out of the blown save when Ozzie Guillen put in Steve Cishek to try to clean up Bell’s mess, but the Giants tying the game in the ninth was really Bell’s doing.  Giancarlo Stanton’s 10th inning homer salvaged things.

Bell now has an 11.74 ERA, has allowed 13 hits in seven and two-thirds innings and has blown four saves.  Lesser struggles caused Ozzie Guillen to move Jose Reyes down in the lineup.  Will he do something about the Marlins’ closer situation now?

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.