With the return of Sammy Solis last Tuesday, focus continues on another pair of talented prospects rehabbing in Florida: left-hander Matt Purke and right-hander Lucas Giolito.
Purke, a third round selection in 2011, is closer to returning from left shoulder surgery. Doug Harris, the Nationals' director of player development, watched Purke throw last week in Florida at the extended spring training facility.
"(Purke) is a tick behind Sammy (Solis)," said Harris, in regards to the left-hander's timetable. "I saw his next to last outing (in Florida) of four innings of no-hit baseball. The last outing was a little more inconsistent with the command of his fastball. The quality of his stuff is good. He should be on track here shortly. He is on course."
Harris had told me previously they were hoping for Purke to return by the end of May, but no date or information on which team he will pitch for has been released.
Meanwhile, Giolito, the first-rounder, at No. 16 overall in 2012, is recovering from Tommy John and is, of course, behind what Solis and Purke are in their stages of return.
Giolito has begun his mound progression in Florida, according to Harris.
"(Giolito) is in his progression on the return from Tommy John," Harris said. "This is where you are really conditioning his arm. He had a lengthy side session when I was in Florida. The ball is really coming out of his hand well. He is doing an excellent job with everything."
Both these updates are very good news to the progression of Purke and Giolito in various stages of return. Solis is scheduled to make his next start Monday night against Single-A Salem. He will be capped off at four innings or 60 pitches.
Last Tuesday, Solis tossed two innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, one walk and one strikeout and hitting 92-94 mph with his fastball with high Single-A Potomac at Frederick.