Left-hander Matt Purke will make his season debut for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns at Asheville on Wednesday night, according to Nationals director of player development Doug Harris.
This is good news for the former Texas Christian star, who has not pitched in a professional game since early 2012.
Purke, ranked by Baseball America as the Nationals' No. 9 prospect, has been recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The procedure was to relieve bursitis in his left shoulder and remove scar tissue.
He has been pitching in extended spring training and has had positive results. Here is the latest on Purke in his most recent outings.
Purke, drafted in the third round in 2011, pitched in three games last season for Hagerstown, going 0-2 with an 5.87 ERA in three starts with 10 earned runs, 12 walks and 14 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.
It is expected Purke will be on the basic ramp-up schedule of three innings or 40 to 50 pitches to begin, then move on to four innings in his next start.