A.J. Burnett Pitches Three Innings at Pirate City

A.J. Burnett threw three innings today at Pirate City.

A.J. Burnett threw in an intrasquad game at Pirate City this afternoon, going three innings against the Pirates’ Triple-A lineup. The start was Burnett’s first outing in a game situation since going down with a fractured orbital bone earlier in Spring Training.

The right-hander went three innings and threw 54 pitches. He gave up just one hit on the day, a line drive single to Starling Marte.

“Delivery looks sound. He got a little quick in the first inning, but after that he was fine,” Pirates’ pitching coach Ray Searage said.

The first inning was the roughest of the three for Burnett. He struck out Chase d’Arnaud, then got Jordy Mercer to fly out to right field. Starling Marte came through with the two out single, and was caught stealing at second for the final out of the inning. The call was questionable, with Burnett standing on the mound in disbelief that the inning was over.

The right-hander threw 18 pitches in the inning, sitting 91-94 MPH with his fastball.

The next inning was much easier for Burnett, as he got Jake Fox and Jeff Clement to ground out, followed by a strikeout against Nick Evans. The right-hander needed 13 pitches to get through the second inning.

Burnett’s third inning was a typical minor league camp situation. He got three quick outs, including a one pitch comebacker to the mound, and a 3-1 ground out which allowed him to field first base.

“I needed this, it was good,” Burnett said about fielding the position and his overall performance. “It was good to field your position, cover first. We’ve got to do that, so that’s why I wanted to get in a game as soon as I can.”

He remained on the field after the third out, and got three more outs before the inning was called. He was 91-93 MPH in the third, and needed just 23 pitches to get six outs in the inning.

Overall Burnett got enough outs for four innings of work. He gave up just one hit, and struck out three. Of his nine other outs today, five came on ground balls.

“For the most part I got my work in,” Burnett said of his outing. “Could have been a little sharper, will be a little sharper, but gotta get that pitch count up and that’s what today is for.”

Burnett will throw a side session on Tuesday, and will make his next start on Friday.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vince-Riedy/100002800992567 Vince Riedy

    Excellent news. Hopefully he will back ahead of schedule.