Eric Adelson of Yahoo! was in Lakeland and he spoke to Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel. Who is still stinging, apparently, that his efforts to get Miguel Cabrera to be go all rah-rah team leadery during the playoffs last season were unsuccessful:
“You have to step up and say something. Miggy’s more about his game. I don’t see him as a leader … Everybody has their eyes on Miggy Cabrera.”
This echoes what Dotel said last fall. And while, sure, you’d like to see your best player be your team leader, Cabrera has never been that guy. He’s reported by everyone to be a quiet, sometimes even introverted type. He is not a likely candidate to lead a team motivational meeting. Especially on a team with a manager like Jim Leyland, guys like Prince Fielder and, as of this year, Torii Hunter.
You’d think that Dotel would know that by now. And that there is zero upside and a lot of downside to saying stuff like this to the press. But then again, Dotel has been on 13 teams in 14 seasons as a big leaguer. I’m guessing that fact and these kinds of comments are somewhat related.
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.