Jon Jay set to begin rehab assignment this week

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Refreshing news here for the scuffling Cardinals.

According to beat reporter Brian Stull of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, center fielder Jon Jay has been cleared to embark on a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday afternoon with Triple-A Memphis.

Jay was placed on the disabled list in mid-May with a right shoulder sprain, suffered on the play pictured in this post — a Drew Stubbs home run. He finally began making progress early last week, first with games of long-toss and then with batting practice.

The 27-year-old was hitting .343/.395/.438 in 27 games before the injury, serving as an important table-setter at the top of the St. Louis lineup. The Cards will hope he can pick up right where he left off upon returning.

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.