Jayson Werth’s first rehab game pushed back to Saturday

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Jayson Werth was originally scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Potomac this evening. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com passes along word that the Nationals decided to scratch him due to a combination of the poor weather and some stiffness in his surgically-repaired left wrist.

It’s not a major concern at this time, as Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that the stiffness was expected and that Werth should be good to go tomorrow instead.

“That’s a good sign,” Johnson said. “He said he pushed it to the point where it got a little stiff. And he said once you get that, you’re good to go. He said he heated it up a little in here and did a few exercises and felt great. So he’s going tomorrow. No biggie.”

Werth has been sidelined since breaking his wrist while trying to make a sliding catch on May 6 against the Phillies. Barring any setbacks, he figures to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup in the early part of August, which should push left fielder Steve Lombardozzi back into a super-utility role.

Werth, who is in the second year of a seven-year, $126 million contract, was hitting .276 with three homers, 12 RBI and an .810 OPS in 27 games prior to the injury.

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.