Taylor Jordan, who grabbed a spot in the Nationals’ season-opening rotation thanks in part to Doug Fister’s injury, has been demoted back to the minors after going 0-3 with a 5.61 ERA in five starts.
The move comes ahead of Fister’s expected return from the DL next week and in the meantime the Nationals decided they’d rather have an extra reliever in Ryan Mattheus.
Jordan posted incredible numbers in the minors last season, going 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA in 90 innings between Double-A and Triple-A as a 24-year-old, and then he tossed 52 innings with a 3.66 ERA in his Nationals debut. He’ll be back at some point and still projects as a solid part of the Nationals’ plans long term.
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.