Tigers starter Max Scherzer, already nursing a sore shoulder in recent weeks, won’t pitch Wednesday as planned after injuring his right ankle during the Tigers’ on-field celebration Monday.
Manager Jim Leyland wanted to make it clear that it was an injury that took place on the field after the Tigers clinched the AL Central and not later after the champagne started flowing.
“Somebody jumping on the pile stepped on his ankle,” Leyland said. “This is legit. This is exactly how it happened.”
Scherzer missed his last start because of shoulder soreness, and the Tigers wanted to get him a few innings tomorrow as a tuneup for the ALDS. Now it appears that he’ll go into the ALDS cold. However, early word is that he will be available to start during the series. If Scherzer can’t go, then Rick Porcello would likely join Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez in the postseason rotation.
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.