Just thought it worthwhile to check in on the continuing domination of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ super rookie. Last night: 3 for 4, as he raises his batting average to a cool .500 to go along with an on base percentage of .515 and a slugging of .938.
Downside: his early success has led Don Mattingly to move him to the cleanup spot, which meant that he was on deck during the Dodgers’ would-be ninth inning rally last night rather than a part of it. Of course he can’t be everywhere and at some point Nick Punto and Mark Ellis have to hit. Which is pretty much why the Dodgers are where they are this season, frankly.
Only one walk so far for Puig. One wonders if that will increase now that he’s farther down in the lineup. Or if teams are simply going to start throwing him garbage all the time to see if he chases it.
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.