Matt Harvey’s debut was fantastic. It easily stands as the most excitement Mets fans have had for a while, and stands as great hope for the future.
But jeez, Terry Collins: maybe you need to ease up on the pressure a bit?
“I’ve talked to scouts who think he is a three or a four [starter], let me tell you something, that’s No. 1 kind of stuff right there, that’s [Justin] Verlander, [Stephen] Strasburg stuff,’’ he said.
It may very well be awesome stuff. But man, even guys with the best stuff don’t become that good very often. And in a place like New York, people will remember that stuff and, if Harvey somehow doesn’t become a regular Cy Young candidate, folks are gonna think of him, unfairly, as a flop.
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.