Being the pitching coach in Colorado can’t be an easy job. Bob Apodaca certainly has had enough of it as he has asked to be reassigned and the Rockies are granting him his wish. Bullpen coach Jim Wright will take over.
Apodaca has been with the Rockies for a decade, but as Troy Renck just tweeted, he seems to have been at the end of his rope for a while:
Apodaca is 62 years-old. Before the Rockies gig he was the pitching coach for the Brewers and before that the Mets. In the 70s he was a Mets reliever. Now it sounds like he’s got “special assistant” and “roving instructor” titles in his future.
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.