Photo: David Hague
The fear in Pirates circles right now is that A.J. Burnett might have thrown his last pitch of the season, though, the Pirates have their fingers crossed that won’t be the case.
Burnett dealing with what is believed to be a flexor tendon or ulnar ligament issue in his elbow, is scheduled to be evaluated Monday by doctors after the Pirates return to Pittsburgh tonight.
Burnett is ruling out surgery and plans to rigorously work to try to get back on the mound but if he can’t get the velocity back up to 90+, we’ve likely seen the last of him.
The Burnett injury led to the Pirates trading for J.A. Happ just as the trade deadline ended and the Pirates have a serious hole behind Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano as the team basically has three No. 5 pitchers behind the duo.
While an unlikely scenario, the Pirates internally are not closing the door on Tyler Glasnow being an option to join the rotation in September if Burnett is out for the season.
GM Neal Huntington on his weekly radio show (937 The Fan) gave a “we will see” when asked about the possibility. Huntington noted Glasnow still has “growth and development” left.
The Pirates feel Glasnow’s fastball and location is certainly MLB level right now but Glasnow is likely going to have to show quickly that his changeup and curve ball are Major League ready for the Pirates to strongly consider a move.