Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo recently resumed throwing after he was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last month, but he told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com late this afternoon that he will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
With pitchers going down left and right this year, we really shouldn’t be surprised by another pitcher headed for Tommy John surgery at this point, but it’s still striking given Arroyo’s well-documented durability. The 37-year-old averaged 211 innings per season from 2005-2013 and threw at least 199 innings in all of them. He posted a 4.08 ERA in 14 starts with the Diamondbacks prior to landing on the DL for the first time in his career last month. It turns out he made six of them with a torn UCL.
Tommy John surgery typically carries a timetable of around 12 months, so Arroyo figures to be sidelined through midseason next year. He’s owed $9.5 million in 2015 while his contract includes an $11 million club option for 2016 or a $4.5 million buyout.
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.