Teams keep giving Chipper Jones gifts when he makes his last appearance in their ballpark. The gift in Milwaukee last night may have been the best one yet. As Carroll Rogers points out in the AJC, when asked at the All-Star break, Jones said he wanted bratwurst from the Brewers. They obliged:
Tom Haudricourt relayed word to the Brewers, who had Ryan Braun, former Brewers player and current special assistant Craig Counsell and the famed “Racing Sausages” present Jones with a gas grill and a year’s supply of Klement’s sausages before Wednesday’s series finale.
The Braves have road series remaining against the Marlins, the Phillies and the Pirates. Any guesses as to what they give him? The Phillies will probably do well. Not sure about the Pirates. I figure the Marlins will give him a gift card for gas or something because Loria goes all out.
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.