ST. LOUIS — A.J. Burnett threw a side session today, two days after throwing his latest sim game. On Friday, Burnett said that the next steps would be decided after today’s bullpen session. After the session, he met with Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington to discuss the next steps. Huntington didn’t give an answer on when Burnett would return.
“We just have to have some conversations with those that are impacted by it,” Huntington said. “Those will take place over the next day or so.”
When asked if Burnett would pitch another sim game or have a rehab outing, Huntington gave the same answer.
Doing a bit of pure speculation, it seems Burnett’s return is close. He said on Friday that he expects to be throwing soon. Huntington’s comments are usually what you hear when the team is about to activate someone, and have yet to tell the other players on the roster that their roles are changing. In this case, Burnett would be replacing someone in the rotation.
Burnett would be ready to pitch again on five days rest on Wednesday. That is when J.A. Happ is scheduled to pitch, so it will be interesting to see how things are handled. I don’t think Happ is the guy leaving the rotation at this point, but it would be interesting if the Pirates move everyone back a day to give some extra rest, while working Burnett in the mix.
**Travis Ishikawa has been rehabbing in Indianapolis the last two days, and will be eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow. Huntington said that the plan was to see how he feels after today, and make the call.
“We’ll see how he feels at the end of the day today, and make a better read,” Huntington said. “Does he feel ready to come back and take a big pinch hit at-bat, take a big opportunity with the club, or does he want the extra day?”
It sounds like Ishikawa will be activated this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens tomorrow in Cincinnati.