Ricky Nolasco was diagnosed with a torn right meniscus over the weekend and scratched from his scheduled Sunday start in favor of Andrew Miller. With such a serious diagnosis, and with the Marlins well out of contention, it felt like Nolasco might be done for the season. But, alas, he could be ready to pitch again by Saturday.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that Nolasco will play catch on Monday and throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. If those go well, he is likely to be cleared to start against the first-place Braves this weekend.
“He wants to pitch, and he says he’s feeling much better the last two
days,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “At this point of the season, pretty much
everybody’s hurt. Nobody’s 100 percent. If he says he’s 90, 95 percent, I
think it’s good enough.”
Nolasco, 27, struggled through the first half of the season but he’s limited opponents to a .237 batting average and has racked up 53 strikeouts in 45 innings since mid-July. Through 25 total starts this season, he owns a 14-8 record, a 4.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 147 strikeouts.
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.