A’s center fielder Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t played since Sunday, isn’t in the lineup Wednesday night, and might be out for a couple more games.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the 26-year-old Cuban has been diagnosed with a strained muscle in the back of his left hand. X-rays and an MRI taken Wednesday morning ruled out a fracture, but the Athletics have listed him as “day-to-day” and are going to take it easy with him this week.
Cespedes is batting .245/.319/.434 with five home runs, four stolen bases and 21 RBI through the first 119 plate appearances of his major league career. He signed a four-year, $36 million contract this winter.
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.