Mar 5, 2013, 9:14 PM EDT
The Nationals optioned pitcher Matt Purke to low-Class A Hagerstown following today’s game in Viera, a move that gives the left-hander a chance to continue his rehab from shoulder surgery in minor-league camp.
Purke, the organization’s third-round pick in 2011, had surgery in August to clean up his shoulder and remove a couple of inflamed bursa sacs. He’s currently restricted to two bullpen sessions per week, each thrown at 50 percent velocity, but he expects to ramp up his workload soon.
The Nationals plan for Purke — who received a four-year, $4.15 million, big-league contract after he was drafted out of TCU — to remain in Viera at extended spring training and then join the roster at Hagerstown in May or June. He’ll be limited to 100 innings this season.
Purke’s demotion today leaves 49 players in big-league camp, with 27 days still remaining until the Nationals’ season opener against the Marlins.
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend