One week after his last extended spring training game, left-hander Matt Purke took to the mound yesterday in Viera, Fla., for six innings and a club official said he "pitched well." Purke threw five innings last week, according to a club source, and his fastball hit 92 mph.
On Thursday, Purke threw one more inning than last time and his velocity was "good," the official said. The Nats will wait a few days to decide what the next move would be.
But I imagine if Purke can throw six innings, and he shows no ill effects from five days of rest, he would be summoned to high Single-A Potomac. Of course, I have thought this before. But this is good news that Purke is adding to his workload and is making progress with no setbacks.
The Nationals are not being specific as to why Purke has been in Florida a month and a half. The former Texas Christian star did have shoulder issues during his college baseball career, but there has been no official indication that is the case now.
I have been told that Purke is lengthening his innings and gaining strength. The Potomac Nationals return home for six games May 28-June 3. That seven-game window would be a possibility for Purke to get his first professional start.