UPDATE: A little ominous, despite the claim of Morrow making his next start:
1:31 PM: Watching the Braves-Blue Jays game. In addition to it being a comedy of defensive ineptitude through the first couple of innings, something else of note happened: Brandon Morrow was pulled after two innings of work. Two innings in which the Braves hit him hard in 47 pitches and in which his velocity seemed a bit off.
Maybe John Gibbons just didn’t like what he saw. Maybe something is wrong with him. If we hear any updates we’ll let you know.
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.