Friday, July 31, 2009

David Purcey's control problems persist in AAA

It's hard to imagine with all the injuries to the Blue Jays starting rotation that David Purcey has been buried in AAA since the end of April. While he has pitched fairly well since the demotion, going 5-4 with a 4.31 ERA, Purcey is still battling command issues.

Purcey pitched Thursday night in Vegas, picking up the win after giving up just 1 run in 6 frames, allowing just 2 hits while fanning 6 batters. However, the 27 year old lefty was still unable to pitch in the strike zone consistently, walking three batters.

In fact, in Purcey's last 9 starts, the least amount of walks he's allowed in one start has been 2, with 6 being his worst output. Curiously, on the other end of the spectrum, Purcey has racked up 9 strikeouts in 3 of those contests. His results are a marked improvement over his 5 starts with Toronto this season, where he walked 18 hitters in 25.2 innings, posting a poor 7.01 ERA.

Purcey is still a pitcher worth watching for the Jays. I would suspect the best case scenario is a September promotion, barring more freak injuries to the starting staff. However, he was a 1st round draft pick in 2004, so the club likely would've expected him to be a mainstay with the team by now. He certainly is at a career crossroads, and could possibly find himself pitching in a different uniform should he not improve his command.