BRADENTON, Fla. -- Today was a day that A. J. Burnett referred to as 'a big step forward' and 'very fun'. On Saturday, the right-hander threw his first live batting practice at McKechnie Field.

First baseman Garrett Jones and catcher Michael McKenry stood in the cage as Burnett took the mound in Bradenton for the first time this spring. Burnett threw an inning (20 pitches), sat, then went out for another inning (20 pitches).

"It felt great," Burnett said of his live BP session. "Today was a very fun day. Big step, felt strong, had good action on everything. It's a first step...It was pretty good."

"Pretty much just mixed everything up, change-up, hooks, heaters, both sides of the plate," Burnett said. "I was amped up the whole time. I was ready for today. I was looking forward to ...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.