March 07, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Matt Purke (50) pitches during the spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
You know Byron Kerr from MASN and MASNSports.com, where he writes about the Washington Nationals' organization and often hosts the Nats Xtra pregame and post-game shows. Mr. Kerr's also the host of the weekly Nats Insider show, and he contributes to Nats Talk Live. (LINK: Mr. Kerr's full bio). He's also on Twitter (@BKerr32), where he often releases recordings like the recent post game interview with Bryce Harper in which Harper said he knew he might get a few boos and hoped he didn't get hit by any batteries during the just-completed series with the Phillies. Dave Nichols, from the District Sports Page and I (Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball(FBb)/SBNDC set up a quick chat with MASN's Mr. Kerr to talk about his coverage of the Nationals' minor leaguers, starting with 21-year-old 2011 3rd Round pick Matt Purke, who could be headed to an affiliate near you in the near future...
• Patrick Reddington (FBb/SBNDC): Byron, your recent reports on 2011 3rd Round pick Matt Purke have been interesting, do you have any idea if he’s had another injury or if he’s still building strength from the issues he had in college? He’s been talked about as a quick-to-the-majors-type, how advanced a pitcher is he at this point from what you’ve heard? In other words, how "quick-to-the-majors"?
Byron Kerr (MASN): "The Nationals are being very careful about information regarding Purke’s health. He has had issues with his shoulder in the past so that leads me to believe that that is what is delaying his arrival. His recent five innings and expected five innings this week, plus reports that he has hit 92 mph are all good signs that he has built up his strength and could arrive in Potomac soon.
"It is hard to qualify Purke as a "quick-to-the-majors" type, but that certainly was the word I got from Jim Callis of Baseball America regarding his high-end prospect status. I would be conservative in those assessments now and concentrate on seeing if he can make it through the season healthy. Potomac could certainly use his skill."
• Read the full Nats' prospect chat at SBNationDC HERE. And thanks to Dave and Byron for participating.