White Sox pick Gavin Floyd over Francisco Liriano versus Tigers

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The White Sox won’t be easing Gavin Floyd back into the rotation in his return from a sore elbow; he’ll start Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series against the rival Tigers.

The change pushes Francisco Liriano back to Friday, when he’ll face the Twins. By making the move, the White Sox are essentially saying they have more faith in Floyd right now, even though he won one of his last six starts before going on the DL.

The respective records of each against the Tigers certainly played a role in the White Sox’s thinking here. Floyd has faced Detroit twice this season and gone 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Last year, he was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against them.

Liriano, on the other hand, has given up seven runs and walked nine in 7 1/3 innings versus Detroit this year. He was 1-2 with a 10.32 ERA against them last year.

The White Sox are currently two games up on the Tigers in advance of the series opener tonight. It looks like they’re battling for one postseason spot right now, given that there are a combined six teams with better records than either in the AL East and West.

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.