Dallas Keuchel throws complete game in second career start

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Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel did a spectacular job in his major league debut last Sunday, limiting a dangerous Rangers lineup to one run in five innings.

In his second major league appearance, the 24-year-old lefty from Tulsa, Oklahoma was even better.

Keuchel, a seventh-round pick of the ‘Stros in 2009, recorded a complete game on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park as Houston rolled to an 8-1 victory over the American League Central-leading Indians.

Keuchel needed just 108 pitches — 70 of which went for strikes — to carve his way through the Cleveland lineup. He struck out three and walked just one while holding the Tribe to six hits and one earned run.

Keuchel had an underwhelming 4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 46/15 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City before his promotion to the major leagues. But it’s hard to argue with the results he’s flashed thus far. The young southpaw got an opportunity to show his worth and is absolutely sprinting with it.

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.