Mets ace Matt Harvey is battling blisters on his pitching hand. It may cause the Mets to skip his next start, reports the New York Post. This could also impact his availability for the All-Star Game, although which way it cuts is hard to say.
He was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, which would have limited him to one inning of All-Star Game duty. If the blisters are fixed by the skipped start, however, he could then pitch more in the All-Star Game than he otherwise would have. On the other hand, the blisters may be enough to knock him out of the All-Star Game entirely. That plus a skipped start would give him a nice break, actually. And in a season where the Mets aren’t competing for anything meaningful, why not rest your future a bit more?
All-Star opportunity or one of the many All-Star injuries — real or otherwise — we’ll see this week? Guess we’ll know eventually.
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.