Friday, March 28, 2008

PG: Burnett to be the final cut

According to the Post-Gazette, it looks like Sean Burnett is going to be the Pirates' final cut this spring in favor of Evan Meek or Phil Dumatrait, leaving the pen to be Meek, Dumatrait, Grabow, Osoria, Yates, Marte, and Capps. The decision was made because Burnett can go to the minors and Dumatrait and Meek can't, due to being either out of options or a rule 5 pick. For that reason, it really is the right move. Burnett and Dumatrait are similar pitchers and since Meek has the highest upside of the three, he's certainly worth taking a longer look at. When it comes down to making the decision, you have to factor in that Burnett can be called up in a month if someone gets hurt or traded and Dumatrait simply can't.

That said, I still think it sucks that Burnett's getting the shaft here. You really can't ask for a guy to do more to try and make the team than Burnett has this year between taking on a new role and pitching lights out all spring. That means that for the second year in a row he's going to the minors after a good performance in camp. Last year it was justified because there was simply no reason to keep Tom Gorzelanny in the minors. This year it's still justified, but it's got to be a lot harder for Burnett to swallow. Everyone's been the 26th man on a 25 person team more than once in their life, but to have to go to AAA and watch a guy that's only a year younger than and never pitched above AA and a guy picked in the same draft who you know isn't better than you make the team instead, well, that's gotta sting. Mostly, people will shrug if off because at the age of 25, Burnett's already been cast for a career role as a journeyman lefty, but it doesn't make it sting less for him.

I suppose the worst part is that it all goes down while he's celebrating the birth of his first kid, who he partially named after Jeff Andrews. Congrats on that, Sean, and hopefully you'll get your shot this year.