As expected the Indians have activated center fielder Michael Bourn from the disabled list following his latest stint on the sidelines with hamstring problems.
Bourn missed six weeks this time around and has struggled with hamstring injuries since last season, undergoing offseason surgery.
Bourn was once among the best base-stealers in MLB, swiping an average of 50 bases per 150 games from 2007-2012 and leading the league in steals in 2009, 2010, and 2011. However, the combination of being on the wrong side of 30 and all the leg problems have sapped his speed and he’s stolen a total of just 30 bases while being caught 15 times since the beginning of last season.
He’s owed $13.5 million in 2015 and $14 million in 2016.
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.