Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Purcey shining since September call up

David Purcey has proven that he can be a very effective pitcher at the major league level the past two seasons. In 2008, he put together two brilliant starts against the eventual American League champion Tampa Bay Rays, allowing a solitary run in 16 innings of work. Unfortunately, he has not been able to be consistent enough, which saw him go from the number three starter in the Jays rotation at the start of the campaign to AAA Las Vegas for the remainder of the season before his recent call up.

If Purcey can string together more starts like he did Monday against Baltimore, he might just be a dark horse candidate for a spot in the rotation in 2010. In 7.2 innings of work, the big left hander struck out four batters, scattering four hits while allowing just one run, picking up his first win in the major leagues in over a year.

In fact, if not for Jason Frasor blowing a three run lead against Detroit in Purcey's last start, the 2004 first round pick would have won that game also. In his two starts since being recalled, Purcey has surrendered just 3 earned runs in 13 innings, a far cry from his five starts in April, which saw him cough up 20 runs in just under 26 innings. Purcey has excellent "stuff", perhaps the best in the Blue Jays system, but has been unable to locate his pitches very well in his brief career, constantly showing susceptibility to the base on ball (55 free passes in 104 innings) The Jays can only hope he builds off his impressive performances since being summoned from AAA to fulfill his potential.

If he can pitch like he did against Baltimore and Detroit, replicating the success against Tampa Bay last year, that shouldn't be a problem.

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