Cole Hamels was scratched from yesterday’s start against the Mets because of what the Phillies called “a gastrointestinal illness” but he apparently felt much better today and is now scheduled to start Sunday versus the Braves.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the source of Hamels’ stomach problems was “a bad salad,” which is why I personally have played it safe for 29 years by never eating a salad. Too dangerous, can’t take that chance.
Tyler Cloyd was called up from Triple-A to make his MLB debut in place of Hamels and tossed six innings of three-run ball, so that bad salad will get Cloyd at least a couple starts in the big leagues.
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.