Here’s some good news for Blue Jays fans who watched Francisco Cordero blow another save last night: Sergio Santos has been cleared to resume throwing after sitting out the past three weeks with shoulder inflammation.
There’s no word yet on when he might be ready for a minor-league rehab assignment, but Santos is working out at the Blue Jays’ extended spring training complex in Florida and testing the injury by throwing on back-to-back days.
Asked by Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com for a potential return timetable, manager John Farrell replied: “I would guess that’s probably still two weeks away.”
I’ll be interesting to see if Cordero can hang onto the fill-in closer gig for that long. He showed major signs of decline last season even while racking up 37 saves and Cordero has blown three of his five save chances while allowing 10 runs in 5.1 innings since replacing Santos in the ninth inning.
UPDATE: Well, that was quick. Cordero is already out as the Blue Jays’ closer.
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.