Call-up Peter Bourjos pushes Torii Hunter out of center field for first time since 1999

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Peter Bourjos is considered one of the elite defensive center fielders among prospects and Torii Hunter ceased being an excellent defender several years ago, so it makes sense that the Angels would use Bourjos in center field for his big-league debut tonight while sliding Hunter to right field.
Of course, given Hunter’s nine straight Gold Glove awards and the widely held perception that he remains an elite defender I’m still shocked that the Angels are, you know, actually doing it.
Give manager Mike Scioscia and the Angels some credit for putting their best outfield defense on the field regardless of reputations and give Hunter some credit for (presumably) being OK with the move.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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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.