Sunday Night Baseball this weekend features the Cardinals and Dodgers, and things had been lined up for All-Star starter Adam Wainwright to face off against the man some people felt should have gotten the starting nod, reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
But the great matchup won’t happen.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke to Wainwright about how he felt following the one-inning appearance in the All-Star game and has decided to push back his first start of the second half until next week. Kershaw, meanwhile, also threw one inning in the All-Star game and, for now at least, is scheduled to start Sunday night for the Dodgers.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that Wainwright skipped one turn in the rotation earlier this season to rest a sore elbow and doing so again will give him at least 10 days between starts and “a chance to rest now and roar through the remainder of the season.”
Fair enough, but damn that would have been a lot of fun to watch (although a Kershaw vs. Carlos Martinez matchup Sunday is pretty nice too).
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.