UPDATE: Good news. Amy Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com passes along word that Cain has been diagnosed with a right forearm contusion after X-rays came back negative.
11:36 p.m. ET: Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any worse for the Giants, Matt Cain was forced to leave tonight’s start against the Pirates in the top of the fourth inning after he was hit in the throwing arm with a comebacker off the bat of Gaby Sanchez.
Cain was in obvious discomfort on the mound before he was visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer. He left the mound with very little in the way of conversation. The ball hit him pretty flush in the forearm area, but we should know more about the severity after he goes for tests.
Cain gave up three runs on seven hits (including two home runs) over 3 1/3 innings before exiting. The 28-year-old right-hander has a career-high 4.43 ERA through 26 starts this season.
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.