T.J. McFarland
T.J. McFarland
29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Arizona Diamondbacks
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 2/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Lefty specialists are like fourth-string wide receivers in fantasy football; not usable in the vast majority of settings. McFarland is an especially boring lefty too, as he posted a 4.8 K/9 last year (5.5 K/9 for career). He does a good job of limiting the free passes (2.8 BB/9), and he induces a lot of groundballs (67 percent groundball rate last year), but that's a blessing and a curse in McFarland case. While the grounders help McFarland keep the ball in the park, they also keep him opponents' hit rate high and that's problematic when you allow so many balls in play. He was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks in November, but was quickly brought back on a cheaper big-league deal. McFarland will likely be the No. 2 lefty behind Andrew Chafin to open the season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Diamondbacks in December of 2017, with the chance to make $350,000 in bonuses.
Shut down for season
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 18, 2018
McFarland (elbow) has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
McFarland is still dealing with inflammation around the bone spur in his elbow, prompting the Diamondbacks to shut him down for the last few weeks of the season. This is a tough blow for both McFarland and the Diamondbacks, as the southpaw posted a 2.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across 72 innings of relief before going down.
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Pitching Stats
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MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .229 234 41 8 50 12 0 1
Since 2016vs Right .308 411 37 41 112 22 0 10
2018vs Left .165 100 22 2 16 4 0 0
2018vs Right .281 192 20 20 48 10 0 4
2017vs Left .222 80 16 3 16 2 0 1
2017vs Right .338 161 13 14 49 9 0 3
2016vs Left .367 54 3 3 18 6 0 0
2016vs Right .313 58 4 7 15 3 0 3
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 2.84 1.32 73.0 3 1 0 4.7 2.7 0.5
Since 2016Away 5.10 1.48 77.2 5 8 1 4.6 3.1 0.8
2018Home 1.80 1.23 40.0 0 0 0 5.4 3.4 0.2
2018Away 2.25 1.16 32.0 2 2 1 5.1 2.0 0.8
2017Home 5.14 1.38 21.0 1 1 0 4.3 1.7 1.3
2017Away 5.45 1.61 33.0 3 4 0 5.2 3.5 0.3
2016Home 2.25 1.50 12.0 2 0 0 3.0 2.3 0.0
2016Away 11.37 1.97 12.2 0 2 0 2.1 5.0 2.1
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Stat Review
How does T.J. McFarland compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
90.7 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In the time since the Orioles kept McFarland on the roster for the entire 2013 season to fulfill his Rule 5 status, McFarland has shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the MLB club. Despite pitching pretty well in the minors, McFarland struggled with the Orioles, though an xFIP of 4.06 shows it may not have been as bad as it looked. McFarland was pretty good against left-handers as hitters slashed just .232/.267/.317 against him, but right-handers teed off at a .375/.461/.557 clip. McFarland could become a left-handed specialist if Brian Matusz leaves Baltimore. McFarland added three mph to his fastball over the last two seasons to top out in the low-90s. McFarland should continue to start in the minors for the short term, but it remains to be seen if the Orioles have the confidence to start him with the big league club. He seems likely to pitch at both Triple-A and with the Orioles this year unless Matusz is moved.
The Orioles acquired McFarland in the Rule 5 Draft in 2012, keeping him on the roster for all of 2013 and using him again as a reliever for most of last season. McFarland didn't generate many swings and misses (7.8% swinging-strike rate) even in a relief role, but he's an extreme groundballer (61.9% GB%) capable of overcoming the hitter-friendly nature of Camden Yards. He ditched his curveball for a slider last season, and occasionally worked in a change, but McFarland largely pounds the zone with his fastball. With Zach Britton occupying the ninth inning, the Orioles may opt to keep McFarland in the fold as the team's second lefty out of the bullpen to add depth behind Brian Matusz.
The Orioles plucked McFarland from Cleveland via the Rule 5 draft and used him as a mop-up reliever. He had topped out at Triple-A in 2012 as a starter with the Indians and the results were mixed. McFarland held his own in April and May before a couple of implosions, though he seldom pitched in high-pressure situations. McFarland only has three pitches and he is not a hard thrower, so his ceiling seems limited, but he will be converted back to a starting role entering spring training. The Orioles are no longer required to keep McFarland on the MLB roster and his most likely destination is Triple-A for the start of the season.
More Fantasy News
Ready for bullpen session
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 17, 2018
McFarland (elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday, the Associated Press reports.
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Diagnosed with bone spur
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 14, 2018
McFarland underwent an MRI on Friday which detected a bone spur in his left elbow, but he will resume playing catch immediately since the injury cannot be made any worse, Jody Jackson of Fox Sports Arizona reports.
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Dealing with elbow inflammation
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 13, 2018
McFarland is battling elbow inflammation and was sent back to Arizona prior to Thursday's game against the Rockies to have an MRI, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. However, he's expected to rejoin the team this weekend in Houston, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports.
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Whittles down ERA to 2.02
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 7, 2018
McFarland retired two of three batters he faced Thursday in the Diamondbacks' 7-6 loss to the Braves in 10 innings.
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Works final two innings in series opener
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 25, 2018
McFarland tossed two no-hit innings in relief during Friday's 6-3 loss to the Mariners. He issued a walk and struck out a batter in the 24-pitch outing.
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