John Danks plays catch again, nearing mound work

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Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com has a positive update on White Sox left-hander John Danks’ ongoing rehab:

The White Sox pitcher said a left shoulder strain, which has kept him on the disabled list since May 20, has responded well to recent activity and treatment. But after previous deadlines have arrived and passed, Danks refusees to get too far. He played catch again on Sunday with good results and perhaps could throw off the mound soon.

“I feel like I’m able to bounce back a little better after I have thrown a couple of days in a row,” the 27-year-old southpaw told CSN Chicago before Chicago’s series-finale Sunday afternoon against the Tigers. “Hopefully it keeps on progressing the way we hope and want to. I’d like to get out there before the year is over.”

Danks owns a decent 4.12 career ERA and 1.31 career WHIP. The Pale Hose signed him to a five-year, $65 million contract extension this past offseason and will hope he can be a contributor down the stretch.

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.