Mitch Williams is taking a leave of absence from MLB Network

67 Comments

When we heard last week that Mitch Williams ordered one of his ten-year-old Little League players to bean another ten-year-old player — and that Williams called a kid on the other team a vile name — I said that if I ran the MLB Network I’d fire Williams. Well, the next best thing is happening:

The MLB Network told the Daily News Saturday afternoon that Williams is taking a leave of absence from the network.

“Mitch Williams has decided to take a leave of absence from his role at MLB Network at this time,” an MLB Network spokesperson said in an email to the Daily News. “We are continuing to look into the matter.”

I wonder if it was really Williams who “decided” the matter. Because doing so would require good judgment and Williams seems to have none at all.

Now, if we could get rid of Chris Russo we’d really be cooking with gas.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.