Matt Purke turned down millions to sign out of high school after the Rangers selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft, opting instead to go to college (and wear his hat slightly askew) at TCU.
His decision appeared to pay off when he went 16-0 last season to win national freshman of the year honors and began this season with a 1.55 ERA through eight starts, but now Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Purke has been “shut down indefinitely” with shoulder soreness.
He’s scheduled to be examined by Dr. James Andrews and showed decreased velocity in his recent outings, which is a scary combination for the 21-year-old left-hander who projected as a top-10 pick in this June’s draft.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.