The Cardinals retired Tony La Russa’s No. 10 last night

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Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had his No. 10 retired in a ceremony prior to last night’s game against the Braves.

La Russa was joined by a select group of friends, former players and colleagues for the occasion, including Tom Seaver, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart, Walt Jocketty and Joe Torre. He was awarded with a key to the city by Mayor Francis Slay during the ceremony and the team unveiled a decal with his likeness on the left center field wall.

La Russa is the 13th person to have his number retired by the Cardinals, joining Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Ken Boyer, Whitey Herzog, Auggie Busch, Bruce Sutter, Jack Buck, and Jackie Robinson.

In 16 seasons at the helm in St. Louis, La Russa compiled a 1,408-1,182 record and led the Cardinals to two World Series championships, three pennants, seven division titles and eight playoff appearances. He walked away last fall ranked third all-time in managerial wins (2,728) behind behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.

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.