Diamondbacks play-by-play man Daron Sutton was suspended for a “personnel matter” back in June. And then in August his boothmate Mark Grace was suspended after getting another DUI. Now they’re both gone:
The musical chairs in the announcing booths could start soon after Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall told reporters Thursday that neither TV play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton nor analyst Mark Grace will return.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune speculates that White Sox color man Steve Stone and Cubs color man — and former Dbacks manager — Bob Brenly could be candidates for the job.
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.