The Royals tried to sneak one in during a miserable day in Kansas City on Thursday, but they couldn’t make an official game of it. Play was halted after 3 1/2 innings with the Royals up 1-0 on the Rays, and the game was later postponed, with no makeup date announced.
Today was the last time the Rays were set to play in Kansas City this season, so both teams really wanted to get it in. As a result, the game started in the rain and continued even as conditions worsened. By the time the 4th rolled around, the field truly was unplayable, and not long after the game was delayed, the rain turned to snow.
The conditions factored into the lone run of the game. Alex Gordon was able to sneak a grounder by Ben Zobrist at second base to score Elliot Johnson in the third. It was a ball that Zobrist likely would have gotten to on a dry infield.
The postponement erased a stellar first four innings from Ervin Santana. He had struck out seven while allowing just two hits. Roberto Hernandez gave up the one run in three innings for Tampa Bay.
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.