After getting Shellac'd by the Phillies in Philly on Friday, Dave Purcey was back on the Greyhound to Syracuse for some home action against Sergio Santos and the Rochesters this afternoon. And as clever as it is to suggest that he use "My Black Ass" as his new intro music for future major league starts, he was great once again pretty much as he has been in each of his minor league starts this year.
Purcey threw up goose eggs for 6 IP and left in line for the win, but Brandon League suffered a minor meltdown in the 9th for a blown save before the bats won it in the 10th. Normally I don't really bother to note who got the W and who wore the goat horns, but Purcey did match up with some guy named Francisco Liriano, of whose exploits you may be familiar.
In the end, Purcey surrendered 5 hits, walked 3 and K'd 5. The rest of the ledger is somewhat of a mixed bag: on the plus side, he kept the ball on the ground, inducing 8 groundouts to 3 flyouts; on the negative side, well, sort-of-negative side, he threw 80 pitches, only 49 of which were strikes. That low pitch count must've been imposed since he was throwing on 3 days rest thanks to the abbreviated outing on Philly.
We knew coming into this year that at age 26, it was time for Purcey to shit or get off the pot. He's been excellent in AAA as the raw numbers indicate (57:19 K:BB in 50.2 IP, 1.95 ERA, and .194 BAA), but has looked very much out of his element in 2 big league starts. Hrm, if we've all been saying said that a 19-AB ML audition for Adam Lind was ludicrisly short, why would one jump to the premature conclusion that Purcey can't translate his minor league success into something more?
Does that mean he joins the rotation some time later this year or next? Maybe, but his development doesn't have to follow a predicable linear path for him to become a contributor to the big club in the short term. This familiar lefty didn't really find success until age 27 and didn't find his true calling until the following year. Maybe some low leverage relief innings would help with the rookie jitters. In any event, we continue to observe closely.
-- Johnny Was