The latest incredible thing Angels rookie and MVP frontrunner Mike Trout has done, via Austin Laymance of MLB.com:
On Thursday night, Trout (21 years, 16 days) became the youngest player since at least 1901 to record 40 steals and 20 homers in a season. Trout swiped his 40th base in the third inning of a 14-13 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Cesar Cedeno accomplished the feat in 1972 at 21 years, six months and one day.
Through 102 games Trout leads the league in batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.601), OPS (1.011), stolen bases (41), and runs scored (99). And if you’re into Wins Above Replacement, Trout is blowing away the competition with 8.9 WAR while no one else in baseball is higher than 6.2.
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.