Twins prospect Nick Burdi will miss the remainder of the 2017 campaign due to Tommy John surgery, reports MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (on Twitter). It’s a “full thickness tear,” chief baseball officer Derek Falvey tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (Twitter link), thus necessitating the TJ procedure.
A top-rated prospect heading into the 2014 draft and one of the most well-regarded arms in the Twins’ minor league ranks, Burdi’s career had already been slowed by injuries even before today’s unfortunate news. (ESPN’s Keith Law notes that he missed most of the 2016 season with a bone bruise in his pitching elbow.) The flamethrowing 24-year-old reaches triple digits with regularity and had gotten off to a brilliant start to the season; after totaling just three innings last year, Burdi had rattled off 17 frames of one-run ball with an outstanding 20-to-4 K/BB ratio (with one of those free passes being of the intentional variety).
The Twins will now have to wait at least another year before seeing Burdi, whom many felt could be a quick riser through the minors, as a part of their big league bullpen. For a club that has somewhat surprisingly gotten off to a first-place start but still carries questions in the big league relief corps, the loss of a near-MLB-ready arm with Burdi’s upside is a tough blow. Burdi, however, won’t turn 25 until the offseason, so there’s still time for him to get his career back on track and help what the Twins hope will be a competitive club in 2018 and beyond.