Yasiel Puig is taking bat-flipping to the next level

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I haven’t watched the David Ortiz-produced “Off the Bat from the MLB Fan Cave” show on MTV2 for a couple of reasons. The biggest of which is that I’m not really the demographic they’re shooting for. “Off the Bat” is aimed at younger people and is an (admirable, in my view) effort to try to market MLB players in ways the league really hasn’t done much of before. Since it is speculated by experts that I don’t enjoy or appreciate baseball, all this fun and jocularity is all lost on me.

But I may have to change that policy this week, because this is happening:

source:
Taylor Baucom/MLB Photos

According to the press release, “Yasiel Puig flips a bat for every occasion.” Which is pretty fantastic. In the likely event that I die before Puig, I would want him to do a bat-flip salute at my funeral. Maybe we could get Carlos Gomez to be a pallbearer too. Let him decide if he wants to do a slow strut to the grave or one of those fast sprints he sometimes does. Regardless, I’d probably pay Puig and Gomez $200/hr to walk and/or strut around my son’s birthday party and flip bats and things.

This week’s “Off the Bat from the MLB Fan Cave” airs at 11pm tomorrow night on MTV2. Ain’t gonna lie, I’m gonna watch this thing.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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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.