The Rockies have lost five games in a row and nine of their last ten, which prompted manager Walt Weiss to call a team meeting earlier today. The details, via Troy Renck:
He challenged the players to compete and play hard. He’s not one to criticize players through the media or call guys out. He wants them to take ownership as he certainly did as a player.
Weiss was direct in his responses to the media, looking straight ahead. He’s had enough of the streak.
The Rockies responded by jumping on Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who entered the night with a 2.02 ERA. They scored four in the first inning five in the second, and one in the third. Liriano left after recording just seven outs, surrendering 12 hits and two walks while striking out only one batter. The ten runs allowed pushed his ERA all the way up to 2.83.
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.