The Dodgers made a flurry of moves before Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Astros.
Setup man Hong-Chih Kuo was activated from the disabled list after missing more than a month with anxiety disorder, catcher Rod Barajas was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an ankle sprain, right-hander Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Triple-A, and catcher A.J. Ellis was recalled.
Kuo is likely to pitch in low-pressure situations initially. He has allowed seven runs — six earned — in nine appearances this season out of the Los Angeles bullpen. The Dodgers need far better from him, especially with closer Jonathan Broxton still battling elbow soreness and Vicente Padilla (neck surgery) ruled out for the remainder of the year.
Barajas sprained his ankle during Saturday night’s loss to the Astros and could miss up to three weeks. He is sporting a weak .220/.262/.385 batting line through 56 games this season.
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.