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Matt Purke hasn't yet faced live hitters this spring.
Purke, the highly touted left-hander from TCU drafted in 2011 and lured to professional ball by a four-year, $4.15 million, major-league contract, tossed three scoreless innings that afternoon against the Hoyas. More importantly, his shoulder felt strong after some questions about its stability during his final college season and the Arizona Fall League.
Put that all together, and the Nationals had legitimate visions of a fast track to the majors for a highly advanced pitching prospect.
Flash-forward one year, and Purke's path to Washington has all but ground to a halt. He appeared in only three games last season for low-Class A Hagerstown, he was roughed up to the tune of a 5.87 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP and his shoulder was barking once again.