The Angels are close to getting their ace back.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Jered Weaver threw 60 pitches yesterday in a four-inning simulated game without pain.
Weaver has been sidelined since the end of May with a lower back strain. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday, after which the Angels will make a decision about whether he’s ready to rejoin the starting rotation.
“Everything looked great, he looked really sharp,” Scioscia said. “But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and how he comes out of his bullpen Sunday before thinking about fitting him back in.”
Weaver, 29, had a 2.61 ERA and 57/15 K/BB ratio over his first 11 starts prior to the injury. The Angels are 10-6 during his absence and currently sit four games behind the first-place Rangers in the American League West.
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.