Matt Kemp undergoes MRI on shoulder, will miss rest of weekend series with Giants

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If the Dodgers are going to make up any ground in the playoff race this weekend, they are going to have to do it without Matt Kemp.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Kemp will undergo a dye contrast MRI on his left shoulder today which will force him to miss the rest of this weekend’s series against the Giants.

Kemp is just 3-for-30 (.100) since colliding into the center field fence in Coors Field on August 28. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise above his knee and a bruised jaw at the time, but the shoulder has emerged as the bigger issue.

Shane Victorino will slide start in center field in Kemp’s absence this afternoon while Juan Rivera will play left. Losers of three straight, the Dodgers open play today at 73-66 on the year, 5 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

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UPDATE, 8:06 PM: According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the MRI showed inflammation and “some fraying of the labrum.” The Dodgers are hoping he can return on Tuesday.

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.