Pirates outfielder Starling Marte throws with his right hand, but if you tuned in for the top of the fourth inning this afternoon as the Pirates battled the Nationals, you never would have known it. Leading off the inning, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman laced a line drive down the left field line. It took an unexpected carom off the wall in the corner and Marte had to chase the ball as it rolled towards left-center.
In the chaos, it was easy to miss, but MASN broadcaster F.P. Santangelo questioned if Marte’s glove was on the wrong hand. Replays showed that Marte was carrying his glove in his right hand — his throwing hand.
(Hat tip to @CrashburnAlley on the .gif. That guy is cool.)
It should be noted that Marte is otherwise having a great season. He hit his fourth homer on the year this afternoon off of Stephen Strasburg and entered the afternoon with a .328/.391/.491 line.
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.