The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi during the Rule 5 draft this past off-season. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies, then the Pirates immediately traded $500,000 worth of international bonus pool space to get Burdi. He had been at Pirate City recovering from Tommy John surgery prior to tonight.
Burdi started Monday night’s game for the Bradenton Marauders and was scheduled for just one inning. He made quick work of the Jupiter lineup, needing just 13 pitches to retire the side in order on three strikeouts.
According to Bradenton announcer Matt Neverett, Burdi 94-97 MPH with his fastballs and his slider was 84-85 MPH. The strikeout pitches were all fastball, two swinging on 94 and 97, with the last one looking at 96 MPH. Burdi has hit triple digits in the past and his slider is described as a plus pitch.
Burdi is currently on the 60-day DL and because he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, he has up to 60 days for a rehab assignment. The most likely outcome will be him joining the Pirates on September 1st when the rosters expand. That way he can begin to accrue days in the majors. If he’s pitching well enough, we could see him a little earlier, but that seems doubtful at this point.
Any Rule 5 pick has to spend at least 90 days in the majors before they can be sent to the minors without being returned to their original team. The rule for most players is that they can’t be sent down at all during their first season (not including rehab work), but if they don’t pick up 90 days that first year, then it carries into the next season. Burdi obviously isn’t going to pick up 90 days this year since the season only has 76 days left, so he will need to be on next year’s Opening Day roster.