UPDATE: Machado’s surgery went as planned today, but Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com notes that the Orioles announced that his recovery time is expected to be around six months. The initial timetable had him at 4-6 months, but the new one indicates that he will unavailable at the start of the 2014 season.
11:17 a.m. ET: Manny Machado’s knee surgery is taking place today in Los Angeles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
Machado has been given a 4-6 month recovery timetable for a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee, so his status for Opening Day is in some question. Returning in six months would mean mid-April.
He initially hoped to avoid surgery and simply rest and rehab the injury, but doctors advised the Orioles third baseman that going under the knife would lessen his risk of future problems.
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.