Johan Santana’s body will apparently not allow a comeback to happen. Or at least not without a bunch of setbacks first.
Finally healthy again after tearing his Achilles’ tendon last spring while coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries, Santana has been pitching in the Venezuelan winter league. But now he’s been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with shoulder soreness.
According to a report out of Venezuela he underwent an MRI exam that showed no structural damage, but Santana has struggled to recover from game action and everyone involved decided to shut him down.
Santana had two Cy Young awards and three ERA titles through age 29, when he led the league in ERA (2.53) and innings (234) for the Mets in 2008. Since then he’s been injured more often than not, including last pitching in the majors in 2012 and missing the entirety of three of the past four seasons.
What a shame.
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.