Matt Holliday is not close to returning to the Cardinals

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Matt Holliday told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that his torn right quadriceps muscle is getting “better” and “stronger,” but there’s no timetable yet for the Cardinals left fielder to come off the disabled list.

Holliday has been out since June 8 and recently began hitting and throwing, but the big test will be when he tries to do some running on the injured leg.

Here’s what manager Mike Matheny said about Holliday’s status:

We’re not putting a lot of pressure on him to rush. He’ll be back when he’s ready.

Having baseball’s best record at 48-24 gives the Cardinals plenty of reason to be patient and play things safe with injuries. And fill-in left fielder Randal Grichuk’s good production gives the team even less reason rush Holliday back.

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.