After bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and Baltimore all season Kevin Gausman will finally get an extended stay in the Orioles’ rotation because of an injury, as the team placed Ubaldo Jimenez on the disabled list with a sprained ankle and announced that Gausman will replace him in the rotation.
Jimenez apparently injured his ankle in the parking lot Wednesday, as manager Buck Showalter explained to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:
He stepped in a hole in the parking lot. We were looking at it today. It’s pretty puffy, taped up. He tried to take a work day yesterday. We were hoping that it would resolve somewhat today, it did not and he’s not going to be able to start tomorrow.
“He stepped in a hole in the parking lot” is a new one, as far as weird injuries go.
Jimenez has been a huge disappointment in the first season of a four-year, $50 million contract, going 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA and league-high 60 walks in 100 innings. Gausman, meanwhile, has a 3.51 ERA in six starts and the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft has looked ready to emerge as a front-line starter.
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.