The Yankees will hold their 66th annual Old Timers Day on July 1, and they announced the invitees a little earlier today.
Many of the usual suspects, obviously: Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford and Goose Gossage. Among the new faces: Sterling Hitchcock, Stump Merrill, Gene Monahan, Matt Nokes and Tanyon Sturtze. Yep. THE Tanyon Sturtze.
I kid, but that’s pretty cool. It would be pretty easy for the Yankeess to skew these sorts of events to only the past greats or those only associated with their many winning teams. But bringing in dudes like Nokes, Hitchcock and Sturtze suggests pretty strongly that the team, unlike the press that follows it, doesn’t differentiate between “true Yankees” and the rabble.
As far as the team is concerned, if you ever wore the pinstripes, you’re a Yankees Old Timer. And there’s something nice about that.
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.