Padres left-hander Alex Torres made history in his relief appearance Saturday night against the Giants, becoming the first major league pitcher to wear a padded cap in a regular-season game …
That screenshot comes from rehabbing Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson, a good follow on Twitter. The thing looks ridiculous, but Torres told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune late Saturday night that “it doesn’t feel bad — the difference between the regular hat and this hat is not really that big.”
Manufactured by isoBlox and approved by MLB, these caps are available to any player who wants one.
Torres gave up a run on two walks and a hit in Saturday’s appearance, but let’s not blame the headwear.
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.