The Diamondbacks released right-handed pitcher Zack Burdi earlier this week according to MLB.com’s transaction tracker. Arizona frees up a spot on its 40-man roster, which currently has 39 spots filled.
Acquired in an October waiver claim out of the Baltimore organization, Burdi’s time in the desert will prove practically nonexistent. A former first-round pick with the White Sox, Burdi has endured a trying handful of years since a scintillating minor league debut in 2016. After he skyrocketed all the way up to Triple-A in his first minor league season, the one-time relief prospect has endured a number of health issues, headlined by Tommy John surgery in July 2017.
While Burdi has shown promise when taking the (predominately minor league) field in recent seasons, hitting the mid to upper 90’s with his fastball and striking out batters in droves, he’s also proven awfully susceptible to walks and home runs. Last season proved no different, unfortunately, as the 27-year-old was rocked in Triple-A and in the Majors. Between a Chicago call-up and a cameo out of the Orioles bullpen Burdi sported a 5.40 ERA, with his three home runs and five walks allowed through 10 innings actually looking better than his work in 28 plus Triple-A frames.
Given his pedigree, it’s likely Burdi can latch onto another organization via a minor league deal. Teams who feel they can tap into the right-hander’s potential may also find his remaining minor league option year appealing, given that they can shuttle him between the big leagues and minor leagues if he can stick on a team’s 40-man roster.