In an attempt to avoid surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome Josh Beckett has started throwing again six weeks after being placed on the disabled list.
Beckett was shut down after experiencing numbness in his pitching hand and hasn’t been right since spring training, going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts before the DL stint.
Beckett was very good down the stretch for the Dodgers last season after they acquired him from the Red Sox, throwing 43 innings with a 2.93 ERA and 38/14 K/BB ratio, but now his future is very much in question and he’s still owed $15.75 million for 2014.
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.