Pirates place closer Jason Grilli on the disabled list

7 Comments

Jason Grilli’s transformation from journeyman middle reliever to stud closer will be put on hold for at least two weeks, as the Pirates placed him on the disabled list with a strained forearm.

Grilli left last night’s game in the ninth inning accompanied by a trainer and in obvious pain, and he’s apparently on his way to Pittsburgh to be examined further.

Grilli made his first All-Star team at age 36 and has saved a league-leading 30 games with a 2.34 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 42 innings after coming into the season with five career saves. Mark Melancon, who also made his first All-Star team in a setup role, will take over ninth-inning duties.

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.