Nationals hoping to get Ryan Zimmerman back on Friday

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is scheduled to play in minor league rehab games at High-A Potomac on Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list for Friday’s series-opener against the Pirates.

This according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.

Zimmerman has been sidelined since April 17 with a left hamstring strain. He was batting .226/.311/.358 with one home run, two doubles and 11 RBI in 61 plate appearances before suffering the injury.

The Nationals will likely send Anthony Rendon back to Double-A Harrisburg when Zimmerman is officially added to the active 25-man roster. Rendon is hitting .167/.211/.222 in his first five major league games.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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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.