Mariners scout heckles Jesus Montero, Montero allegedly tries to go after him with a bat

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Tyler Maun of MiLB.com reports that a crazy incident occurred in Boise during a game between the Everett AquaSox and the Boise Hawks in the Northwest League yesterday. Jesus Montero, who is with Everett as he rehabs from an oblique injury, was coaching first base and was being heckled from the stands. Not by an ordinary fan, but a cross-checker — a scout who usually oversees scouts in a given geographical area — who is actually employed by the Mariners.

The incident was kicked off when the scout yelled at Montero to hustle off the field after an inning, yelling “Rapido! Rapido!”  Then the scout ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, which one assumes was a dig at his weight issues (Montero showed up for spring training 40 pounds overweight). Montero didn’t take kindly to that at all, heading toward the stands with a bat in his hands, throwing the ice cream sandwich at the scout and screaming expletives at the scout. He had to restrained by an Everett coach.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times that he was looking into the matter. And while, as the high-profile player who was acting aggressively, Montero is going draw most of the heat and coverage here, what on God’s green Earth is a scout employed by the Mariners doing acting like that at a baseball game which he is presumably working? Toward a Mariners player no less? We obviously don’t have all the information here, but if his behavior was as reported by Maun, I’m not sure how that guy doesn’t get fired pretty quickly.

In other news, the minor leagues are a great bang for your entertainment buck.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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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.