Yesterday the controversy in Washington was over some random Matt Williams comments that suggested he was maybe sorta possibly considering sending Bryce Harper to Triple-A to figure things out. Whatever you construed his comments to be about that it was certainly the case that Harper and his struggles have been the hot topic in the land of Nattitude for the past couple of days.
What a difference a day makes: The Nationals and the Mets battled for 13 innings today, but it all ended when Bryce Harper hit a 0-1 pitch over the left field wall with a man on to give the Nationals a 5-3 victory. Watch:
Overall Harper was 2 for 6, with his other hit being a single. One swing doesn’t fix a season, but one swing can change the subject. So, gentlemen: change your narratives. Start here:
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.