According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker Online, only one home run registered at 480 feet or longer last season: an Evan Gattis monster home run off of Cole Hamels at Citizens Bank Park, which went 486 feet. It may be Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s personal mission to be the distance champion of the 2014 season.
Facing Padres starter Eric Stults in the bottom of the first inning with a runner on first base, Stanton crushed an 89 MPH fastball to left field above the “Budweiser Balcony”. It registered at 484 feet. It eclipsed Stanton’s 2013 best, a 463-foot shot off of Phillies pitcher Ethan Martin. He hit a longer one in 2012, a 494-foot blast against Josh Roenicke of the Rockies.
Don’t worry, there’s video of it:
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.