The Marlins announced two new additions to Mike Redmond’s coaching staff yesterday, as former All-Star outfielder Brett Butler was hired as a third base and outfield coach while Frank Menechino will be the new hitting coach.
Butler, who played 17 seasons in the majors and amassed 2,375 career hits, has worked in the Diamondbacks’ organization for the past nine seasons. An opportunity in the big leagues has been a long time coming, as he has been the manager at Triple-A Reno for the last five years.
Menechino, who played seven seasons in the majors between the Athletics and Blue Jays, joins the Marlins after spending five seasons as a coach in the Yankees’ minor league system. He’ll replace John Pierson, who served as interim hitting coach after Tino Martinez resigned amid controversy earlier this year.
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.