J.J. Putz back with Diamondbacks after missing seven weeks with elbow injury

2 Comments

After missing seven weeks with a right elbow injury, J.J. Putz was activated from the disabled list this afternoon.

Putz originally appeared bound for surgery due to a strained flexor pronator and nerve irritation, but he didn’t have any setbacks after resuming his throwing program and made it through four minor league rehab appearances without any issues. It’s always possible that the symptoms will resurface, but he’s ready to rejoin the Diamondbacks’ bullpen.

Putz was struggling prior to the injury, posting a 4.26 ERA in 14 appearances while blowing four out of his first nine save chances. Heath Bell has been terrible recently, so Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Putz will close in a potential save situation. However, he indicated to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic yesterday that he’s unlikely to use him on back-to-back initially.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.