Pirates pitching prospect Mike Burrows underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday and is expected to be sidelined for the next 14 to 16 months, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic). Burrows hit the minor league injured list earlier this month with a UCL sprain and sought multiple opinions before undergoing surgery.
The Pirates selected Burrows in the 11th round of the 2018 draft and lured him away from a college commitment to Connecticut with a hefty $500K signing bonus — effectively late-third or early-fourth round money. He’s dealt with shoulder and oblique injuries in his minor league career but has sharp numbers overall, with a 3.34 ERA, 27.1% strikeout rate and 9.0% walk rate in 207 2/3 professional innings.
Those injuries and the canceled minor league season in 2020 slowed Burrows’ development, but he looked like a viable option to make his big league debut in 2023, prior to the revelation of the damaged ligament and subsequent surgery. Burrows turned in a 2.94 ERA in 52 innings at the Double-A level last year and earned his first bump to the Triple-A level. He was tagged for a 5.31 ERA in 42 1/3 Triple-A frames but showed a promising 42-to-12 K/BB ratio and kept the ball in the yard (1.06 HR/9). Burrows had a solid spring training this year (two runs in five innings) and opened the season with just two runs in 6 2/3 frames in a return to Triple-A.
Each of Baseball America (No. 9), MLB.com (No. 9), FanGraphs (No. 7) and Keith Law of The Athletic (No. 7) rank Burrows within the Pirates’ top ten prospects. He’s praised for a plus fastball, high-spin curveball and improved and more oft-used changeup, with enough command to profile as a potential big league starter. There’s a good chance that Burrows might’ve gotten that opportunity at some point this season were it not for the unfortunate injury, but he’ll now see his big league debut pushed off until late in the 2024 season, at the earliest.
Burrows is on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, so it’s possible he’ll eventually be placed on the Major League 60-day injured list, should the Pirates need a 40-man roster spot. In that scenario, he’d accrue big league service time and Major League pay while rehabbing the injury.
Mendoza Line 215
Always a tough break for any pitcher.
The service time explains why they did not bring him up when they designated Heinaman.
Good. That’s what he gets for passing up an education for a measly half million.
“ measly half a million “
More than you will make in a year
Buuba ho tep
Hey man….slider with cheese is just another idiotic troll
Troll is still a thing?
For Love of the Game
Slide, do you know anything about Burrows and what alternatives were open to him? I doubt most elite “student-athletes” graduate college with a degree worth anything. The smartest athlete I know (through my son) is a Big 10 college basketball player using his red-shirt status to pursue an MBA on the university’s dime. He’s good, but won’t make the pro ranks. But that MBA will give him some serious gravitas in the business world. Did Burrows have intellectual as well as physical talent? I don’t know.
Man too bad he can’t finish up his education after his career… oh wait he can.
We both know he won’t.
Classy. I’d hate to be you.
The college experience was worth more than half a million to me. I didn’t want to be a mlb player though unless I was a 1st round talent with a big signing bonus and I wasn’t. If you really want to be a mlb baseball player he took the right path. Unless your back up plan profession requires a degree take the money. To each their own though. Do what makes you happy.
bummer, was hoping they had a workable plan around it. he possibly could have been a decent addition to the MLB rotation this year.
Might be a decent addition in 2 years. More tjs to come. Keep adding pitching depth.
could be, I was hoping he could be a viable rotation arm out of spring in 2024 while getting some innings in 2023.
yeah can’t have enough pitching.