Carl Crawford’s ongoing comeback from wrist surgery became a bit more complicated yesterday when the left fielder traveled to Boston to have his sore left elbow examined by doctors.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Crawford had been close to playing in extended spring training games before the elbow problems arrived, but adds that “the issue is believed to be minor” and “the remedy could be as simple as cutting back on throwing for a few days.”
Either way, his return will be delayed further. Bobby Valentine has said all along that Crawford will need around 50 at-bats of game action before the Red Sox would consider activating him from the disabled list, so he’s not close to being in Boston’s lineup.
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.