The Mets have signed left-handed reliever Matt Purke to a minor-league contract, with a Spring Training invite available, according to Michael Mayer. Purke was drafted by the Nationals in the third round of the 2011 draft. After spending five seasons with the Nationals organization, Purke was signed by the White Sox in 2016. Purke made his major league debut in 2016 with the Chicago White Sox, going 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. Purke spent the entirety of the 2017 season in Triple-A Charlotte, pitching a 3.84 ERA with a 3.20 FIP and 80 strikeouts in 48 relief appearances.
Purke has battled injuries throughout his career, having to receive shoulder surgery in 2012. Purke primarily uses his fastball, which accounts for 71.8% of his pitches. He also induces a lot of ground balls, as he has never averaged less than a 44.8% ground-ball percentage in his career. He doesn’t have stuff that can raise some eyebrows, as his fastball clocks in at 92.7 mph and has a decent slider. Purke provides some decent relief, but don’t expect him to be anything more than bullpen depth for the minor leagues.
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