Chipper Jones thinks Troy Tulowitzki belongs at third base

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Chipper Jones, who knows a little bit about moving from shortstop to third base, thinks it’s time for Troy Tulowitzki to make the move. At least that’s what he tweeted last night in defense of his selecting former teammate Andrelton Simmons as the NL’s best shortstop.

The numbers, for what it’s worth, strongly disagree with Chipper’s assessment. He did grade out as a slightly below average shortstop during an injury-filled 2012 season in which he was limited to 47 games, but he always rated above average to exceptional before that. So far, this year, he’s back on the plus side, at least according to UZR.

Still, this isn’t the first time some have called for Tulo to move, and it’s possible playing a less demanding position would help him stay healthy. It’s not likely to happen anytime soon, though, as the Rockies are hoping rookie Nolan Arenado will prove to be their long-term third baseman.

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.