Bill Baer wrote last night that Ryan Braun could be placed on the disabled list due to his strained right oblique and that’s exactly what the Brewers did this morning. Logan Schafer, who has been sidelined since mid-April with a hamstring strain, has been activated to take his place on the active roster.
Braun’s stint on the disabled list has been backdated to April 27, the day after his last game action, so he’ll be eligible to return on May 12 if all goes well. Oblique injuries are tricky, so that’s obviously far from a guarantee.
Braun, who has been playing through a nagging thumb injury, is batting .318/.361/.591 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 22 games this season.
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.