Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda threw a simulated game today in order to maintain his arm strength during his 10-game suspension, but now he’s headed for an MRI exam after experiencing soreness in his lat muscle.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Pineda had to cut short the simulated game and now the Yankees are worried he won’t be able to make his first post-suspension start Monday as planned.
Pineda last pitched on April 23, when he was booted from a start against the Red Sox in the second inning for having pine tar on his neck. David Phelps would likely fill in next Monday against the Angels if needed and considering Pineda’s previous injury track record any setback is awfully worrisome.
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.