Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports some bad news for Rangers fans on Twitter: lefty starter Derek Holland injured his left knee in a fall at home and earlier today underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage. Fraley adds that Holland is likely out until mid-season.
Fraley spoke to GM Jon Daniels, who said the Holland injury won’t pressure the organization to make a move for a “big ticket” pitcher such as Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. The Rangers will likely fill the void with an in-house option such as Robbie Ross.
Holland, 27, was a big part of the Rangers’ plans in 2014 considering his career year last season. He finished with a 3.42 ERA in 213 innings as well as a 21 percent strikeout rate and 7 percent walk rate.
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.