Yesterday I took crap from everyone for wondering why the Sox didn’t call up Alan Embree instead of Fabio Castro to aid the bullpen. After last night’s game the Red Sox called up Alan Embree and sent down Fabio Castro, who didn’t throw a pitch in last night’s game, so maybe I’m not as dumb as I look sometimes. I’ll admit, however, I whiffed on Wakefield being available for last night’s game due to his Sunday start.
The broader lesson: it’s remarkable how I can write a 2000-word screed ripping one team and not get a single negative response, but if I make some moderately lazy comment about the Red Sox bullpen people come out of the woodwork.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.