Just when you though this season could not get off to a worse start, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they will place right handed pitcher Nick Burdi on the 45-day injured list.
If you thought the Pittsburgh Pirates season couldn’t get any better, the team has just announced that they will be placing right handed relief pitcher Nick Burdi on the 45-day injured list, and activating utility man JT Riddle in his place. The Pirates are saying that he currently has a right elbow injury.
This comes as another large blow to the Pirates pitching depth, and eliminating one of their few reliable relief pitchers so far into the 2020 season for either most if not for the rest of the season. Burdi will join Mitch Keller, Michael Feliz, Clay Holmes, and Kyle Crick who are still on the injured list. The Pirates had traded for Burdi way back in December of 2017. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft, and then traded to the Pirates for international bonus money.
Burdi missed most of the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery so when the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for the relief pitcher, they knew they weren’t going to see him until late 2018. However, Burdi did make it back in time for September roster expansion, but only pitched 1.1 innings in the Majors.
In 2019, Burdi looked to be making a name for himself early on into the season. Through his first 48 batters, he allowed three walks, one home run and struck out an absurd number at 17. Burdi really showed what he could do with his power fastball and slider. But things came to a screeching halt on April 22nd. After struggling to record any outs in a game against the Diamondbacks, Burdi suffered a very gruesome looking injury on the mound. He would have to undergo thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and missed the rest of the 2019 season.
Burdi was set up for big things in 2020 even before the shutdown. However, when the season started back up, he found himself in the closer’s role with Keone Kela out. Despite suffering the loss on Monday night, Burdi had still struck out four of the 10 batters he faced while showing outstanding movement on his mid-to-high 90s fastball and power slider.
This just comes as another set-back in Burdi’s career. This was Burdi’s age 27 season, and he definitely has been great when he hasn’t been hurt. Now with Burdi out, the Pittsburgh Pirates have no one at the closer role.
They might just roll with a closer-by-committee and rotate people in and out of the 9th inning and see what works, rotating Geoff Hartlieb, Dovydas Neverauskas, and Richard Rodriguez in that role. They also might call-up one of their relief prospects like Blake Cederlind or Nick Mears.
We here at Rum Bunter wish Burdi the quickest of recoveries as we had we always have a lot of fun watching him pitch.