Freddie Freeman is making quick progress after partially disclocating his right kneecap Tuesday while doing pick drills at first base.
Freeman hit off a tee and took live batting practice earlier today, after which he told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he didn’t even think about his knee. “I let it loose and I feel great,” Freeman told O’Brien.
It’s not clear when Freeman will make his Grapefruit League debut, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he hopes to be cleared to take infield within the next two days.
Freeman, 22, batted .282/.346/.448 with 21 home runs, 76 RBI and a .795 OPS last season. He finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting behind teammate Craig Kimbrel.
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.