The Phillies’ former batting practice pitcher is suing the team for defamation

20 Comments

This is fun. At least if you’re not one of the parties to the lawsuit. Former Phillies’ batting practice pitcher Ali Modami is suing the Phillies and Ruben Amaro personally, saying that Amaro defamed him.

The upshot: Modami was fired, and when he tried to get jobs with the Dodgers and Nationals, he claims that Amaro told those teams that Modami was stealing equipment and memorabilia and selling it on the Internet. And that Modami was badmouthing the team.  The kicker:  Modami claims in his suit that Jayson Werth told him that Amaro was doing those things.

I don’t practice anymore, but I think I would love to depose Jayson Werth. I just have this feeling that he’d be the best/worst (depending on your point of view) witness in the history of depositions.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.