Mat Latos left his third minor-league rehab start with a calf injury Wednesday at Triple-A, but the injury is apparently a non-issue and today Latos expressed displeasure with the Reds keeping in the minors for another start.
In fact, Latos told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that “it’s pretty bogus I have to go on another rehab assignment” and added:
I don’t make the decisions around here. But it it is what it is. I’m a puppet on a string. I get told to do what I need to do and I do it.
Latos is an emotional guy, so it’s possible those quotes come across more harshly than he intended, but clearly he’s not happy with the situation and is itching to make his 2014 debut after missing time with knee, flexor, and now calf injuries.
Fay reports that the Reds simply want Latos to throw 90-100 pitches, which he was supposed to do before the calf injury led to an early departure Wednesday.
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.