(Jonathan Newton)

Purke had spent the season at extended spring training in Viera, Fla., where he could build arm strength in a more controlled environment. Purke missed the majority of his college season at TCU last year with a shoulder injury, which the Nationals diagnosed before drafting him as an ailment that would not hinder his development.

The Nationals signed Purke to a four-year contract worth roughly $4 million last August, with General Manager Mike Rizzo calling him, “close to the big leagues.”

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