Chris Capuano goes to 4-0 as Dodgers shut down Cubs

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Getting better every time out, Chris Capuano shut out the Cubs for seven innings on Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Capuano has posted a statistically improved outing each time out for the Dodgers:

April 7 – 4 R in 4 2/3 IP
April 12 – 2 R in 5 1/3 IP
April 18 – 2 R in 6 IP
April 23 – 1 R in 7 IP
April 29 – 0 R in 6 2/3 IP
May 5 – 0 R in 7 IP

It’s been a very impressive showing for a guy who was only linked to the Dodgers, Twins and Cubs before signing a two-year, $10 million deal over the winter. Other contenders might have gotten more interested later on, but they seemed to be searching for more durable pitchers when free agent season started. Capuano, 33, has made 30 starts just three times in his career. He was 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 186 innings for the Mets last year.

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.