Shoulder trouble is likely the main cause behind why Matt Purke fell as far as he did in last June’s MLB Draft (to the 3rd Round, #96 overall), but the Washington Nationals were glad to be able to land the left-hander. Finally, after months of waiting, Purke has made his organizational debut with his start Wednesday with Single-A Hagerstown.
Purke threw five innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits (including a home run). He walked five and struck out one, taking the loss as the Suns were beat by the Greensboro Grasshoppers 5-3.
Since the season began Purke has been at the team’s Extended Spring Training complex in Viera, Florida working on strengthening his shoulder. It is generally believed that he could move quickly through the organization’s minor league system, perhaps being MLB-ready as early as next season. Washington signed Purke to a $4 Million Major League contract prior to last summer’s deadline.