Pirates reliever Nick Burdi has been diagnosed with a nerve injury in his pitching arm, team director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk told reporters including MLB.com’s Adam Berry (Twitter link). He’ll remain shut down until at least early June.
That’s relatively promising news for the 26-year-old righty, who left his most recent appearance in agony after suffering an arm injury. It had emerged already that Burdi had avoided the worst-case scenario of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, though initial indications were that there was some physical damage around the elbow joint.
Now, it seems the primary cause of the pain in Burdi’s biceps was this nerve issue — the details of which are not yet known. Several pitchers have undergone procedures in recent seasons to address nerve ailments in their pitching arms. It is not clear that a surgical approach is a consideration at the moment.
It would be heartening to see Burdi bounce back physically and return to the MLB hill this year. His career trajectory has been hampered to date by injuries, but he was throwing quite well before the game in which he went down. Burdi produced 17 strikeouts against just two walks with a 20.1% swinging-strike rate over his ten prior appearances on the season.