Josh Reddick has slumped of late, hitting .134 in his last 15 games, and the A’s outfielder missed yesterday’s game after having a tooth extracted earlier this week.
Vinnie Duber of MLB.com notes that Reddick “has been dealing with the oral issue all season, which has forced him to wear a mouthguard.” And finally this week it became too much, as Reddick explained:
I had to go get it checked out because the pain was pretty bad. The dentist said it wasn’t healing right and the blood wasn’t forming like it should be. We had to go in there and re-clean it out, and I had to numb it up again and put another temporary thing in there that’s going to eventually dissolve, and hopefully keep the pain away.
Duber reports that Reddick used Monday’s off day to fly to his home in Georgia so he could be examined by his own dentist. And despite how unpleasant that all sounds, he’s expected to be back in the lineup tonight.
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.