The Royals had Chris Getz replace Alex Gordon in the leadoff spot Friday against the White Sox, but it proved to be a one-day experiment. Getz suffered a broken left thumb bunting in the fifth inning and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Getz was 0-for-3 in the game, leaving him at .275/.312/.360 in 189 at-bats for the year. He usually doesn’t start against lefties, but the Royals had him in there tonight because he was 6-for-11 lifetime against White Sox starter Chris Sale.
With Getz out, the Royals figure to turn second base over to Johnny Giavotella, who is hitting .323/.404/.472 for Triple-A Omaha. As much as it has to suck for Getz, the injury might benefit the Royals for the long haul: they need to let Giavotella play every day and see if he’s going to be their long-term answer at second base. He’ll get that opportunity now, and the Royals can determine this winter whether to go forward with him as a regular.
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.