Roger Clemens’ comeback outing for the Sugar Land Skeeters will be shown on ESPN Classic and ESPN3.com on Saturday night, with the game slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. ET.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Clemens isn’t exactly going on a media blackout for the affair; he’s slated to do a pregame interview for ESPN Classic and a postgame interview for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
It will be Roger’s first game appearance since he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2007 ALDS against the Indians.
The 50-year-old Clemens reportedly topped out at 87 mph during a workout Monday. He’ll be facing a Bridgeport Bluefish team Saturday that includes several former major leaguers, including Shea Hillenbrand (hitting .194), Joey Gathright and Willie Otanez.
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.