US Presswire photo
Anthony Rendon made a nice impression in his first big-league camp.
Rendon and Purke were optioned to high-Class A Potomac, with infielder Carlos Rivero optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. Outfielders Corey Brown and Xavier Paul, infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir, catcher Sandy Leon and right-handers Rafael Martin and Austin Bibens-Dirkx all were reassigned to minor-league camp.
None of the moves were surprises, though Rendon and Purke made nice impressions during their brief stints in big-league camp only nine months after each was drafted out of college.
Rendon, the sixth overall pick in the draft, went 3-for-13 with three doubles and an RBI in eight Grapefruit League games. The former Rice third baseman also saw game action at shortstop and worked with manager Davey Johnson at second base as the organization tries to figure out where he'll wind up after signing Ryan Zimmerman through 2019.
Purke, a third-round pick out of TCU, got a chance to start the Nationals' exhibition opener against Georgetown and then made two relief appearances against big-league opponents, including this afternoon against the Cardinals. The left-hander tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday, and was credited with the win.
Among today's other cuts, Brown stood out with a particularly strong performance in camp. The 26-year-old outfielder (acquired last winter with reliever Henry Rodriguez in the Josh Willingham trade) went 7-for-17 with a homer and three RBI and made several nice plays in the field.
The moves leave the Nationals' spring training roster at 45, though that includes two players who will open the season on the disabled list: first baseman Chris Marrero and reliever Cole Kimball.