The Cardinals have signed left-hander T.J. McFarland to a split contract, The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty reports (Twitter link). McFarland has spent the season pitching with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, but he was granted his release earlier today, as the southpaw “felt he had a better shot of being called up by the Cardinals than Washington,” Dougherty writes.
Given the Cards bullpen’s lackluster performance this year, McFarland is probably correct in that assumption, though he has a 5.25 ERA in 24 innings at Triple-A Rochester this season. However, some bad luck (and three home runs allowed) lies behind that inflated ERA, as McFarland also has a 25.74% strikeout rate, 4.95% walk rate, and 63.6% grounder rate.
Should McFarland reach the Cardinals’ active roster, St. Louis will be the fourth different team of his career and 2021 would be the southpaw’s ninth MLB season. The groundball specialist (McFarland has a 62.8% career grounder rate) has a 4.08 ERA over 401 career innings in the Show, including a 4.35 ERA over 20 2/3 frames with the Athletics in 2020.