Somebody check on Brandon Phillips

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The Reds had the traditional champagne and beer shower last night (see the video below), as was their God-given right as men, baseball players and Americans (and Dominicans and Mexicans and Cubans and everyone else on the roster).  It’s probably worth sending over some chicken soup and aspirin to one of those players, however, because he’s not used to that sort of thing. It’s Brandon Phillips, who is a non-drinker. Here were his comments before last night’s game:

“I told everybody this is the only way I would drink,” a smiling
Phillips said, to a large crowd of reporters in the clubhouse today. “I
hope I don’t get drunk or anything after one sip. It’s worth it to take
that sip.”

Anyone who can remember their first beer — or at least their first beer after not having one for years — should hope that he left it at a sip, because I wouldn’t wish that headache on anyone.

Now: some Reds champagne shower goodness:

 

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.