The Phillies announced a slate of non-roster invitees to spring training Thursday, most of which were for in-house minor leaguers or minor league free agent signees whose contracts had been widely reported. Among the list was right-hander Ryan Burr. It deal was reported last month by Phillies Tailgate on X.
A 29-year-old right-hander who’s spent parts of four big league seasons with the White Sox, Burr spent the 2023 campaign in the Rays’ system after signing a minor league pact last winter. He logged 23 1/3 innings for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate and posted a 3.09 ERA with sharp 25% strikeout rate and superlative 3.3% walk rate.
In what’s been a familiar refrain for Burr throughout his career, however, he was on and off the injured list throughout the season. Burr missed time in 2022 with a shoulder strain and missed the entire 2020 season following Tommy John surgery. He also dealt with an injured AC joint in his shoulder earlier in the 2019 season that was cut short by that TJS procedure.
Burr has just 75 innings in the big leagues but showed in 2021 what he can do at his best. That season saw him notch a 2.45 ERA in a career-high 36 2/3 frames, fanning 22% of his opponents and keeping the ball on the ground at a 57% clip. Burr’s 13.9% strikeout rate that season was clearly problematic, as is the overall 12.2% walk rate he sports in his big league career. Walks weren’t an issue with the Rays’ top minor league affiliate last year, however, and if he can carry some of that newfound command over into 2024 he’ll be an interesting add to the team’s depth chart.