Bill Bray, Cincinnati’s talented but often injured left-handed reliever, is being shut down and sent home for the rest of the season.
“He’s still on the DL,” pitching coach Bryan Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay. “He’s not going to be activated. He wasn’t going to pitch for us in September. He battled with a lot different stuff — his back, groin and knee. With the knee, he couldn’t run.”
Bray has pitched just 8 2/3 innings in between DL stints this year, walking 14 and allowing five runs. The Reds will probably non-tender him this winter rather than pay him another $1.5 million to be the third lefty in their pen next year.
A 2004 first-round pick of the Nationals, Bray has been with the Reds since mid-2006. He’s put in relatively full major league seasons just twice, but he was plenty good when he did. He had a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances in 2008 and a 2.98 ERA in 48 1/3 innings last year.
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.