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Purke ready to face Georgetown

Mar 1, 2012, 7:28 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Matt Purke will start for the Nationals tomorrow against Georgetown.

VIERA, Fla. — Had he remained at TCU for his senior season, Matt Purke might very well have found himself pitching tomorrow against another college ballclub. Purke, though, elected to enter last summer's draft and sign with the Nationals.

So instead of starting tomorrow night for the Horned Frogs against Oklahoma State, the 21-year-old left-hander will start tomorrow afternoon for the Nationals against … Georgetown.

Guess Purke hasn't entirely graduated to the big leagues yet, even though he's in big-league camp this spring.

"I'm just thankful for every opportunity I get out there," he said. "There's a lot of guys who need to get innings, so when I get a chance to go out there, I'm definitely appreciative and try to make the most outRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    So we will get to see (not really since no one is showing or broadcasting the game) the Baby Nats! Can't Wait!!!!

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I'll tweet a few pics for you, Michele.

  3. jcj5y - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I'm very interested/hopeful to see Purke and Alex Meyer have good years in the minors. Both have ultra-high ceilings.

  4. MicheleS - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Thanks NatsJack!!! I can't wait

  5. Wally - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    That is good news that his throwing sessions have been thought positive. I am hoping for a healthy season from Purke.

  6. Section 222 - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    A final thought from the last post, and then I'll drop it.He's experiencing soreness AFTER throwing, not DURING, and soreness in a joint that has not been put to full use in almost a year is normal.The following is from Mark's report on Feb. 22: "It could be another year, or it could be a month," he said. "Who knows? Until you don't feel it any more, that's the only time it's going to be completely out of your mind. But again, it doesn't hurt at the plate. I can handle a little discomfort throwing the ball, as long as it's not carrying over for two or three days."And in Kilgore's report on Feb. 22, there is the following description from ALR of how he felt throwing the ball 150 feet for the first time:"Still, 'it didn’t feel normal,' LaRoche said. LaRoche is improving the strength in his shoulder, and he does not expect his throwing to return to pre-surgery form until long past opening day.'When they did the surgery, they said it could be up to two years before you don’t feel anything,' LaRoche said."So I wouldn't parse today's report too closely. He says it's sore after throwing. That doesn't mean it's not sore while throwing. Even if he throws one day without soreness, if the shoulder is sore the next day that's a problem in a sport where you play every day. The expectation of pain (or soreness or whatever you want to call it) when you throw or swing is going to affect your performance.So no doubt there's going to be soreness, or perhaps pain. The question is, will that soreness affect his hitting? Will it prevent him from cutting loose on a throw to the plate or to second on a successful pickoff? I guess we'll soon find out.

  7. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Given the loss of Solis for between 1 – 2 years Purke showing he belongs in the upper levels of the minors and as potential major league depth has to help. Other than Rosenbaum they really do have all that much left-handed starting depth unless Lannan starts the season in Syracuse. Here's hoping McGreary finally shows he can be a left-handed starter … but you hardly hear anything about him so …

  8. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    And I guess Robbie Ray is also in the left-handed starter mix with McGreary … but he is still young and I guess they are waiting (as with Alex Meyer) how he develops physically as he gets older.

  9. McR - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Speaking of Meyer, I haven't heard anything new on if the Nationals might get rule-5 Brad Meyers back from the Yankees this spring. I can't find anything other than fantasy baseball notes. Anyone hearing anything?

  10. realdealnats - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Great news that Purke's shoulder feels fine and looks fine to the coaches. Same with Rendon. Werth and LaRoche are still worrisome, though. It looks like Morse will be spending time at 1B–not such a bad thing–but until Harper gets up that's a really spotty outfield. Unless the kid heads north for OD. I'm all for keeping control of him another year, but I won't be too disappointed if he starts either. That year at the end is important, b/c he's 25, but I'd rather see them try to steal a WS this year, and those first 3 weeks will be deadly w/LaRoche way under speed and a rotation in LF. The bats are light enough already. Especially big left handed bats.

  11. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Speaking of Meyer, I haven't heard anything new on if the Nationals might get rule-5 Brad Meyers back from the Yankees this spring. I can't find anything other than fantasy baseball notes. Anyone hearing anything?They're surely not going to make a decision on giving him back until they at least give him a look in a few spring training games WHICH HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED YET! Chill out, dude.

  12. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    McGeary is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which is why you hear nothing from him. He should be healthy now since he was throwing last summer.

  13. realdealnats - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Purke seems healthy, but maybe we should get him his TJ surgery just to get it out of the way.

  14. realdealnats - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. RPrecupjr - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    222 I understand your points, but they are also taken from reports from more than a week ago, whereas I was responding to a report from yesterday. And I agree, we'll have to wait and see. There's not a whole lot we can really do by analyzing everything that is said, we need to see the shoulder in action. Also, someone had mentioned a few days back about him making the throw home from shallow right field possibly being an issue. Not really…a first baseman should be in the middle of the infield on a ball hit to the outfield with a potential play at the plate. Danny Esbazookanosa is your cutoff guy for balls hit to right field, the first baseman is there to cut the ball off if there is no play at the plate and then keep the runner from advancing on the throw.

  16. RPrecupjr - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Um, RealDeal? Purke had shoulder issues. TJ surgery is elbow ligament replacement. Two totally different things.

  17. McR - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Anon 3:54 – didn't mean to sound impatient. Was just curious. I knew about Meyers winter shoulder injury, and it just popped into my pointy little head, since we were talking about young arms. I was just curious if the well informed knew anything about him.

  18. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    I believe realdeal was simply making a joke considering the ridiculous number of nats pitchers who end up getting it. Might as well schedule the procedure and get it out of the way.

  19. Eugene in Oregon - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    RPrecupjr @ 4:05,I think realdealnats was just making a joke, i.e., all young Nats pitchers seem to require TJ surgery, so why not go ahead and get it over with…McR on Brad Meyers,Reasonable question. I follow the Yanks a bit (just because I read the NYT sports section daily) and it's hard to imagine that they will keep Mr. Meyers on their 25-man roster for Opening Day, given the way they seem to be constructing their team. I would expect him back in the Nats fold by April 1, but — as always — I could well be wrong.

  20. MJR - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Esbazookanosa…good one, RPrecupjr! And we have cAnnonkiel, too :-)

  21. Gonat - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    I just got into Florida and will be posting up photos on my Twitter all weekend. My twitter name is @NatsHR2Win

  22. John C. - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    McR said… Speaking of Meyer, I haven't heard anything new on if the Nationals might get rule-5 Brad Meyers back from the Yankees this spring. I can't find anything other than fantasy baseball notes. Anyone hearing anything?You can't set it in stone, but unless the Yankees have a bunch of injuries it's really unlikely that Meyers makes that team. The Yankees' picking up Pineda and Kuroda really put Meyers behind the 8 ball, even with Burnett shipped out. If you assume that the Yankee bullpen has seven slots, five already committed to Rivera, Robertson, Soriano, Logan and Garcia/Hughes (whoever doesn’t win the #5 rotation spot). One spot is likely to go to a situational lefty, with Cesar Cabral (another Rule 5 guy) and Clay Rapada as possible options. So Meyers is duking it out for the last spot in the bullpen with five other guys (George Kontos, Cory Wade, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell, and Kevin Whelan). In what I've read, Wade and Phelps are generally regarded as having the inside track. No matter how you slice it, Meyers is going to have to be hella good to stay out of Syracuse.FWIW, Meyers’s Rule 5 status is unlikely to help him much, because the Yankees are fully aware that they are likely to pick up two more RHRP coming back from injury during the season (Joba Chamberlain and/or David Aardsma), each of whom has more upside than Meyers. The Yankees may want to hang onto someone they CAN send back to the minors so they can make room later.

  23. N. Cognito - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    The Yankees could keep Meyers for now and when Chamberlain and/or Aardsma return, send him back to the Nats during the season.

  24. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Gonat said… I just got into Florida and will be posting up photos on my Twitter all weekend. My twitter name is @NatsHR2Win March 01, 2012 4:39 PM See you tomorrow. I think Sunday is the Viera STH event after the game but I am probably going back to the Honda Classic.Looks like Bryce Harper and Rendon are starting tomorrow. I spent most of the afternoon watching Tiger Woods down at the Honda Classic near West Palm Beach. Fun going from Tiger to BHarper in consecutive days!

  25. baseballswami - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    NatsJack – how do I follow you on twitter?

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    @NatsJackinFl on Twitter

  27. JaneB - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I love that so many Baby Nats are playing! An exciting day for them. And, actually, for me, too. will we get an inning by inning rundown of the game, Mark?

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Steve M… We'll be in Section 113, Row 7 behind the Nats dugout Saturday. You wearing your new Gio Gonzalez jersey?

  29. John C. - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    @N. Cognito: that could happen, but he has to beat out the other five guys first. The Yankees are trying to win that Division, so they're not going to stash a guy just to stash him.Full disclosure: although I'm a DC native, I've been a Yankee fan for 40 years. When I started rooting for them I was living under the thumb of overbearing Orioles' fans, as they were clearly the class of the AL East and, with Oakland, of the AL. Needless to say, that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!

  30. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Steve M… We'll be in Section 113, Row 7 behind the Nats dugout Saturday. You wearing your new Gio Gonzalez jersey? March 01, 2012 5:02 PM You got it NatsJack! Looking forward to seeing you!I was in Nats gear at the Honda and 2 guys approached me from DC who will be at the Georgetown/Nats game tomorrow.I'm telling you this. The bandwagon fans will all pile on when the Nats get hot this year.

  31. John C. - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    And for those curious about Meyers' status with the Yankees, a hot-off-the-internet write up on Meyers and Cabral from Pinstripe Alley, a Yankee fan site. This was posted after my original comment (although the first commenter's response will look familiar, since I just cut & pasted my posting from here :-) .

  32. realdealnats - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    2013, with a year of playoffs under our belts: Upton in CF, Rendon at 2B. Now that's a lineup.

  33. Get Some Players - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    What's the consensus on where Purke starts out this year?

  34. Section 222 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Wow John C, you know way too much about the Yanks. :-) Thanks for that assessment. It will certainly be good to have Meyers back in our system whenever that happens.RPrecupJr — I agree with you about the throw from RF. I'm more worried about double play balls hit to first, pickoffs where the 1B has to throw the runner out at 2nd, or bases loaded plays at the plate.

  35. sjm308 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Exciting times!Can't wait to see this lineup. Lots of things worth looking at besides Purke. Brown in CF, Rendon and Lombardozzi. Tyler Moore.I am wondering how the glass half empty guys get Solis missing two full years? It did not work that way for either JZ or SS if I remember. Also, since Werth is back at practice today how is his "injury" worrisome? And finally, it appears that LaRoche is, if nothing else, honest about how he feels. Do you guys really think these players go through full season without pain or soreness. He is coming off surgery and is just a little cautious. I still think he will be able to scoop up throws from Desmond, Zimm and Espy and that, to me, is an aspect not discussed as often as needs be. He is by far, the best defensive first baseman we have on this roster and maybe the best we have ever had here in DC.So excited to see what plays out.Go Nats!!!

  36. sjm308 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    GetSomePlayers:See the great analysis at Nationals Prospects.com. Luke is one of my go-to sites after Mark. I think he has Purke starting in high A but I could be wrong.

  37. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Wasn't Purke a draft eligible sophmore, thus making this year his would-be junior year.

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