The White Sox optioned Burdi to Double-A Birmingham on March 11. The hard-throwing righty is still viewed as one of the more intriguing reliever prospects in the White Sox's farm system, even though Tommy John surgery and a dislocated knee have cost him much of the last three seasons. Now healthy, Burdi could move quickly to the majors if he's able to dominate against minor-league hitters with his big fastball early on in 2020.
Burdi (knee) retired all three batters faced in the eighth inning of Tuesday's spring game against the Giants. Burdi consistently registered 96 mph during his one-inning stint. He's dealt with a pair of injuries since being drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft and is looking for his first full season as a professional. Burdi was viewed as a future closer prior to the setbacks and possesses the type of velocity that can play in that role.
Burdi (knee) threw his first side session of spring training Thursday, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. ''He looked good,'' manager Rick Renteria said of Burdi's side session. ''The ball was coming out of his hand, and he was around the zone more, hitting the spot more than I thought he would be at this point. A lot of life. He threw the ball well.'' Burdi, a first-round draft pick in 2016, has endured two major injuries since draft day. Tommy John elbow surgery ended his 2017 season prematurely, and he spent 2018 recovering. A dislocated knee cut short his 2019 season. He's got a powerful, upper-90s fastball that fueled a 13.8 K/9 rate in 29 games at Triple-A Charlotte before the elbow injury. Given his lack of work over the last three years, Burdi is expected to start in the minors this season so the organization can monitor the right-hander.
Burdi (knee) had his contract selected by the White Sox on Wednesday. Injuries have limited Burdi to just 29 innings over the last two seasons combined, but he's talented enough that the White Sox elected to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He didn't exactly showcase that talent while stumbling to a 6.41 ERA over 19.2 innings at Double-A Birmingham, but the team evidently is still holding out hope for his future.
Burdi will miss the remainder of the season with a tear in the ligament of his right patella. He had a 6.75 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 22.2 innings, primarily at Double-A, prior to the injury. Once seen as a future big-league closer, Burdi would now do well just to make it to the majors at all.
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