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McFarland shut down for remainder of season

D-backs playing it safe with bone spur in reliever's left elbow
September 18, 2018

PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever T.J. McFarland wanted to pitch and believed he could, even though he had a bone spur in his left elbow.But manager Torey Lovullo said after the team discovered some swelling around the spur, the decision was made to shut the left-hander down for the rest of

PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever T.J. McFarland wanted to pitch and believed he could, even though he had a bone spur in his left elbow.
But manager Torey Lovullo said after the team discovered some swelling around the spur, the decision was made to shut the left-hander down for the rest of the season.
"He has some inflammation around that bone spur and we just felt like the risk did not match the reward," Lovullo said. "What I told T.J. was that I just did not want to put him into a situation where he was going to go backwards and potentially end up needing some type of a procedure to heal and get ready for next year."
McFarland was a key cog in the bullpen this year, compiling a 2.00 ERA in 47 appearances spanning 72 innings.
McFarland's versatility was a huge plus, as he was used at times in long relief and at times in shorter outings to match up with left-handed hitters.
"He's had a tremendous year," Lovullo said. "He did exactly what we needed him to do throughout the course of this year, and it's time to rest and get well."
McFarland began experiencing some elbow discomfort toward the end of the last homestand and was sent home from Colorado to be examined. That showed the born spur, but the initial thought was that McFarland could pitch through it.
"Some things have to be taken out of the player's hands," Lovullo said. "And in this case, we felt like we made a very good decision for him and his future, and that's what we're always aiming for."
Another bullpen session
Shelby Miller, who is attempting to return from last year's Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen session prior to Tuesday night's game.
"He looked good," Lovullo said. "I watched several of the pitches and he looked very, very good. The ball was coming out very hot. The breaking ball was good. He said he felt good."
Miller is scheduled to throw another bullpen session. While Lovullo has not ruled out Miller pitching in a game this year, it seems unlikely.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.