Back when he threw in the mid-90s Roy Halladay got nothing but praise. Now that he’s struggling he’s hearing some criticism. He’s not terribly pleased with that. From Mike Narducci at Philly.com:
“Philly is not an easy place to do that, you guys are pretty tough,” he said to the assembled reporters. “You have to be pretty mentally strong to block that out and go out there with confidence every time and trust.”
But it did seem like his comments were a bit more than an acknowledgment of the Philly press’ toughness, as he went on to suggest that maybe he should be given some praise for doing as well as he’s done given how recent his surgery was and how similar injuries have ended other guys’ careers.
Not sure that’ll get him very far in the court of Philly public opinion. There, more than a lot of places, results matter and you don’t get a ton of attaboys merely for trying hard.
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.