Burdi (elbow) won't need surgery for now and will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection instead, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Burdi picked up his first career save this year but lasted just three appearances before his frustratingly frequent injury problems resurfaced. While it's certainly a positive that he's avoided surgery, his latest issue is nevertheless serious enough that he's already been ruled out for the remainder of the year. Whether or not he's at full strength to being the 2021 campaign remains to be seen.
The Pirates have ruled Burdi (elbow) out for the remainder of the season after he was placed on the 45-day injured list Wednesday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Burdi is technically eligible to return from the IL on Sept. 18, but the Pirates won't have him ramp up at that point with the regular season ending about a week and a half later. At this time, Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said the team is still gathering more information about the extent of Burdi's right elbow injury, so no formal timeline for his recovery has been established. The elbow injury is the latest in a string of arm-related setbacks for Burdi, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and missed most of the 2019 season after requiring surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome.
Burdi was placed on the 45-day injured list with an unspecified elbow injury Wednesday. The Pirates handled the oft-injured righty cautiously early in the season, avoiding using him on back-to-back days, but the injury bug returned nonetheless. He picked up his first career save in one of his three appearances this season but may not pitch again this year, as there will be little over a week left in the season if he returns when first eligible in mid-September. Burdi has thrown just 43.1 total innings across all levels since the start of the 2016 season. Keone Kela will be the Pirates' closer when he returns from the COVID-19 injured list.
Burdi walked one and struck out one in a scoreless inning to earn the save Tuesday against the Brewers. Burdi was called upon to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning. After surrendering a leadoff walk, he was able to rebound, striking out Ben Gamel and inducing a double play from Lorenzo Cain to end the game and record his first career save. Given the lack of updates on Keone Kela (illness) and Kyle Crick's (shoulder) recent placement on the injured list, Burdi seems to be in line to be the primary closer for the foreseeable future, though the Pirates have said they will be cautious with Burdi, so he may not get every save opportunity.
Burdi was not available to pitch in Monday's extra-inning loss to Milwaukee, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports. "Coming off the injuries he has and what he's done, we're going to be careful in terms of his usage going forward," manager Derek Shelton said. Burdi threw 11 pitches Sunday. Relievers Michael Feliz and Kyle Crick surrendered four ninth-inning runs Monday night while Pittsburgh rested Burdi.
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