T.J. McFarland
T.J. McFarland
30-Year-Old PitcherRP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2019 Fantasy Outlook
In an era where most relief appearances are one inning, McFarland is an anomaly, serving as both a lefty specialist and long reliever. In 10 of his 47 appearances, McFarland secured fewer than three outs while in 21 he got at least four. In total, he threw 72 innings, which would have been more had he not missed time in July with a neck strain along with being shut down in mid-September with bone spurs in his throwing elbow. The soft-throwing lefty worked mostly in low-leverage and mop-up duty, logging just a single hold and save all season. He's earmarked for a similar role this season. In the days of 4x4 play, McFarland would be a stud, but a 13.8 K% limits his fantasy value in formats scoring strikeouts. The exception is simulation games caring more about surface stats than underlying skills. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Diamondbacks in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration. Contract includes a $1.85 million team option ($50,000 buyout) for 2020.
Roughed up in relief
PArizona Diamondbacks
June 5, 2019
McFarland allowed three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three over 2.1 innings in Tuesday's 9-0 loss to the Dodgers.
Three of the four hits McFarland allowed went for extra bases, and he surrendered three runs for a second straight appearance. Clean outings are not the norm for a long reliever like McFarland since he typically throws multiple innings, but he's particularly been hit hard by opponents in recent times. Over his last six outings, the left-hander has a 6.28 ERA with 21 hits allowed over 14.1 innings. Additionally, his .333 batting average against for the season is last on Arizona's staff.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .215 222 46 7 45 9 1 3
Since 2017vs Right .310 400 40 38 111 21 1 8
2019vs Left .325 42 8 2 13 3 1 2
2019vs Right .333 47 7 4 14 2 1 1
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
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 3.41 1.34 68.2 1 1 0 5.4 2.9 0.7
Since 2017Away 3.94 1.40 77.2 5 6 1 5.2 2.7 0.7
2019Home 7.04 1.83 7.2 0 0 0 8.2 3.5 1.2
2019Away 4.26 1.50 12.2 0 0 0 5.7 2.1 1.4
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
89.7 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
87.7 mph
Spin Rate
1978 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Returns from injured list
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 30, 2019
McFarland (shoulder) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list Tuesday.
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Nearing end of rehab
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 28, 2019
McFarland (shoulder) is scheduled to throw 50 pitches over 2-to-3 innings Monday for Triple-A Reno, Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic reports.
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Begins rehab assignment
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 20, 2019
McFarland (shoulder) threw a scoreless inning for Triple-A Reno on Thursday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
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Rehab assignment starts Wednesday
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 14, 2019
McFarland (shoulder) will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Reno on Wednesday, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
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Rehab assignment coming soon
PArizona Diamondbacks
April 13, 2019
McFarland (shoulder) threw an 18-pitch simulated game Saturday, Jack Magruder of The Sports Xchange reports.
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