Rizzo: prospects Purke and Ray making progress

Nationals prospect Rick Hague has returned to high Single-A Potomac after starting the season in extended spring training. Since Hague has been called up to his minor league team, the questions are now focused on the status of left-handers Matt Purke and Robbie Ray. Both hurlers have been in Florida continuing to work at the Nationals' facility.

It is not known for sure what the current status is for each pitcher, or what they were focusing on in Florida, but it is clear they needed to build up innings in order to try and get back to their team, most likely Potomac.

General manager Mike Rizzo had positive, but not detailed, updates on both hurlers, saying Purke and Ray are on schedule to return and it could happen sooner than later.

"Matt Purke is in Florida, rehabbing and doing well," Rizzo said. "He will be getting on one of the minor league affiliates soon and starting."

Rizzo said Purke is still building up strength and innings and has "had no injuries, no issues." Purke is waiting to make his professional debut.

Ray was a shining star last season with the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns, going 2-3 with a 3.13 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 20 starts.

"Robbie Ray is doing well and he will be soon pitching at one of our affiliates," Rizzo said.

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