With the arrival of Gavin Floyd to the starting rotation, the Braves have decided to move Alex Wood to the bullpen, at least for now, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Wood will not make Sunday’s scheduled start. However, he will start a week from Saturday and will be available in the bullpen through Wednesday, O’Brien adds.
Wood, 23, posted a 3.00 ERA in seven starts spanning 45 innings. The Braves’ rotation, one through five, has been great though and no matter who was ousted, there would have been a bit of controversy.
Floyd, who underwent elbow surgery last May and had been recovering ever since, allowed one run in seven innings to the Cardinals in his 2014 debut on Tuesday. The Braves signed him to a one-year, $4 million deal in December.
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.